Expensive Buildings Hinder Progress of Oklahoma Charter Schools

The number of charter schools and students who attend them in Oklahoma are growing, but officials say the potential of charter schools is being held back because of the high cost of school buildings and facilities.

A joint meeting of House and Senate education committees on Monday examined the issue and looked for ways state lawmakers might be able to help find a funding source for charter school facilities.

Charter schools are public schools that receive state funding on a per-pupil basis but are operated privately by an independent board and are free from many state mandates. The schools do not, however, receive any property tax funding and are unable to issue bonds to pay for buildings or other educational materials.

There are about 20 charter schools in Oklahoma.

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