All Public School Students Deserve Equal Funding

Michigan families want choices in K-12 education, and charter schools are an essential piece of that puzzle. 

What are charter schools?

Charter schools are a special kind of public school that sit outside the traditional school district. These independently-operated public schools have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs. Whether attending a virtual or brick-and-mortar charter school, these students are public school students. All charter schools operate under a contract with a charter school authorizer – which can be a public university, community college, intermediate school district, or a local traditional school district – that holds them accountable to the high standards outlined in their “charter.”

How are charter schools funded?

Charter schools, like traditional public schools, are free public and open to all. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools receive no state funding for facilities and cannot leverage local bond and millage funding for their buildings.

In 2021, the funding equity gap between the state minimum and state maximum per-pupil foundational allowance was closed, ensuring that charter students (who were formerly funded at the state minimum) received equitable funding for their education. 

Who supports charter schools?

Charter schools serve students and families across Michigan ranging in virtually every demographic category - culturally, socioeconomically, etc. - and as such see support from many, diverse Michiganders. A recent poll showed that 54.3% of Democrats, 78.3% of Republicans, and 62.8% of Independents support charters - those numbers are up in every category since 2020 (MRG, 2022). 

Simply put, Michigan families want choices in K-12 education, and charter schools are an essential piece of that puzzle.



What is the Michigan School-Aid Budget?

Get the breakdown.

The Michigan School-Aid Budget allocates funding for public education bodies, including traditional public and public charter schools. Many public charter school students and students who live in communities with higher levels of poverty receive LESS to support their education.


  • The average public charter school is 32% more cost-effective than the average traditional public school located in the same city. 
  • The average public charter school generates an average 36% higher return on investment per every dollar it spends than traditional public schools. 
  • A recent poll showed that support for charter schools is up 5% from 2022, to 64% total, and only 22% of Michiganders have an unfavorable opinion of charters, down from 3% since 2020 (MRG, 2022). 


Every year, MAPSA (MI's Charter School Association) along with the support of thousands of charter educators, parents, allies, and advocates, "close the gap" by working in partnership with elected officials to ensure students (many of whom are charter students) funded the least see increases in funding at a higher rate than those students funded the most so that over time, the gap between the highest-funded and lowest-funded districts "closes." 

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Learn more about MI charter schools

Discover key FAQs and info about Michigan's charters! 
get the facts on MI Charters