Charter school type matters when examining funding and facilities: Evidence from California.


  • Cathy Krop RAND Corporation
  • Ron Zimmer RAND Corporation



school choice, school finance.


Currently, charter schools represent one of the fastest growing movements of educational reform. The first charter school opened in 1992 and there are now over 3,400 charter schools nationwide. Despite this growth, we are only beginning to learn about the performance and operation of these schools. This article adds to our knowledge of charter schools both by examining the finances of charter schools in California, which has more charter students than any other state, and by highlighting their fiscal challenges. Using survey data of California charter and conventional public schools, the results suggest that the degree charter schools are struggling with resources and facilities depends upon charter school type.


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Author Biographies

Cathy Krop, RAND Corporation

Dr. Cathy Krop is a policy analyst at RAND where she has done extensive work on the allocation and use of education dollars and on designing and costing options for alternative systems of school finance in support of education reform efforts. Dr. Krop has also estimated the costs of class size reduction policies and K-12 enrollment growth. In addition, Dr. Krop led a multi-state evaluation of a National Science Foundation program to improve math and science instruction. Before joining RAND, Dr. Cathy Krop worked on education policy at the Congressional Budget Office and was a project manager at the Evaluation and Training Institute.

Ron Zimmer, RAND Corporation

Dr. Ron Zimmer is an economist at RAND focusing his research on educational finance, peer interactions, No Child Left Behind, and school choice. Dr. Zimmer recently led a team of researchers that examined the operation and performance of California charter schools and is currently on a large project team evaluating the student achievement impact of No Child Left Behind in several major urban districts across the U.S. Previously, Dr. Zimmer has worked on projects evaluating Edison schools, the movement toward greater state funding, and the effects of school tracking.




How to Cite

Krop, C., & Zimmer, R. (2005). Charter school type matters when examining funding and facilities: Evidence from California. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 13, 50.