In 2003, the Utah State Legislature created and funded a program, Local Replacement Revenue for Charter Schools. This program's funds replace some of the local property tax revenues that are not available to charter schools. Ten percent of the funds this program provides to a charter school are dedicated to facility costs only. In fiscal year 2004, Utah's Local Replacement Revenue for Charter Schools program dedicated $309,517 or $96.50 per student solely to facilities. Charter schools sponsored by local school boards that converted from district schools or operate in district facilities without paying reasonable rent are not eligible for these funds. (http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE53A/TITLE53A.htm.)
Although only 10 percent of the Local Replacement Revenue is reserved for facility costs, charter schools typically use 47 percent of Local Replacement Revenue for this purpose. Charter schools use about 53 percent of this revenue for maintenance and operations, such as teachers' salaries.
Utah is one of four grant recipients under the US Department of Education's State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program. Utah will use its Federal grant to supplement the State fiscal year 2005 program's funding of $594,848 or $100 per student. Because of the Federal grant, charter schools on average will spend approximately 21 percent of their Local Replacement Revenue on facilities, allowing them to spend 79 percent of the revenue on maintenance and operations. The Federal grant will help prevent Utah's charter schools from diverting funds that should cover maintenance and operations to cover essential facility costs.