Alerting Policymakers to Nationwide Funding Inequities for Charter School Students

Hundreds of Media Placements


Why the University of Arkansas Came to Us: The University of Arkansas’ Department of Education Reform is one of the preeminent research teams on education reform and school funding. Since 2013, they have published a series of reports highlighting disparities in funding between public charter and traditional schools, which, in some cities, is as much as $15,000 per student. They have also looked at the Return On Investment for charter schools, comparing funding levels to student outcomes. We raised awareness for each of these reports.


Our Strategy for University of Arkansas: We set out to raise attention through the news media and broader public so that state and national policymakers would be aware of the inequities that exist, as well as the productivity of charter schools and take action accordingly, by making their key findings digestible to a broad audience.


Throughout the years, these reports have analyzed local, state, federal and private funding sources for public schools in as many as 30 states and 48 major cities. We worked in coordination with the research team to engage and support stakeholders as part of a national and multi-regional proactive media campaign to drive positive attention to the major findings of the report. Each year, we delivered as many as 100 media placements for the university, including The Economist, The Huffington Post, Education Week and National Public Radio.

Why It’s Worth Talking About


Due to the prominent visibility achieved from each of these reports, local and state policymakers have taken notice and have worked to close these gaps. Over the past three years, policymakers in Georgia, Massachusetts, New York and Texas have enacted new measures to ensure that students attending charter schools are treated more equitably when it comes to funding parity. In addition, in 2017, Colorado lawmakers passed a new law to help close their pervasive funding gap.