Authors: Katherine Apfelbaum and Ken Ardon July 2014 As Massachusetts state legislators weigh lifting the cap on the number of charter schools, this research publication focuses on the financial impact of a cap lift in the state’s lowest-performing districts. Providing seats for all the students currently on charter wait lists without exceeding the current spending cap would increase tuition by $141 million, or a little less than 5 percent of net school spending for the affected districts. If this expansion took place relatively quickly, the commonwealth would reimburse local districts for 28 percent of the extra tuition payments during the first 10 years to allow districts time to adjust to reduced enrollment and funding. Raising the cap would provide tens of thousands of students with access to the high-quality education charter public schools offer.
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