The federal Charter Schools Program has played a critical role in increasing the number of charter schools across the country. Authorized in 1994, the Charter Schools Program provides operators with short-term funding to cover school startup costs, because schools cannot access per-pupil funding until students enroll. As of 2019, a school can receive up to $1.5 million over a period of 3 to 5 years. The intent of the program, as specified by statute, is to “improve the United States education system and education opportunities for all people in the United States by supporting innovation in public education in public school settings that prepare students to compete and contribute to the global economy and a stronger Nation.”

Though the Charter Schools Program has enjoyed

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