Utah lawmakers debate need for transparency into how tax funding is used by charter-school-hired companies

Moroni Alvarez attended traditional public school until fifth grade, when a move placed his family near Freedom Preparatory Academy in Provo.

Now seven years later, the high school senior said he appreciates the emphasis on technology, leadership and service at his charter school. But he also acknowledged there are some drawbacks that stem from the school's comparably small student body. "In my class the ratio of boys to girls is like four-to-one," he said. "No. Five-to-one."

Alvarez was among hundreds of charter school students who visited the Utah Capitol on Wednesday in an annual event known as Charter Day on the Hill.

The state's charter school community filled the Rotunda, allowing students, teachers and administrators to meet with their representatives and senators, who are poised to make an investment of more than $30 million in charter education through changes to school funding formulas.

One of every 10 Utah public education students now attends a charter school, and the growth of the alternative schools has driven a debate over how, and how much, charters should be funded. Continue…