Report: Charter schools are costing California’s West Contra County Unified $27.9 million a year

In the Public Interest, in partnership with California’s West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) staff, directly measured the financial impact of charter schools on students who attend the district’s traditional public schools.

The report is a follow-up to our 2018 Breaking Point: The Cost of Charter Schools for Public School Districts, which was the first, and continues to be the only, effort to measure the direct cost of charter schools on California school districts.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Charter schools cost WCCUSD $27.9 million during the 2016-17 school year.
  • WCCUSD loses $978 a year in funding for each charter school student.

In the Public Interest recommends that each California school district should produce an annual report assessing the economic impacts of charter school expansion on district students. This data and analysis will empower local officials to balance the potential value of charter schools against the needs of students.