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A new report on issues in CMO (Charter Management Organization) finance was released by the National Charter School Research Project based on a symposium convened by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Center of Reinventing Public Education (CRPE). Richard O’Neill, RSS’s president, was one of twenty national experts convened to address CMO financial issues. Among the issues addressed in the report are those about scalability, growth, financial requirements, reliance on philanthropy, and CMO business modeling. Much of the report confirms in general terms the more specific financial information and editorial comment found in RSS’s Annual Survey & Analysis of SMOs (School Management Organizations).

To link to the Center of Reinventing Public Education CMO finance report, click here. To link to information on RSS’s Annual Surveys, click here.

"Renaissance School Services has produced a highly valuable analysis of the economics of both for-profit and non-profit school management organizations."Thomas Toch, co-director, Education Sector, Washington
"I read it with rapt attention. We're in our budget process now and this report will help us answer questions like: How do we make resource allocation decisions? Are these costs reasonable? What can we learn from others who are delivering results, yet more efficiently? It has been very helpful internally to measure and benchmark our central office expense. As we reflect on how we're structured and our economic drivers, this is helpful."Tom Torkelson, CEO, IDEA Public Schools, Texas
"We got a number of 'aha's' from the report. We broke it down to our needs: revenue, governance, fees, academics. These 'aha's' opened our minds and eyes to things we might take a second look at, including looking at size and how to create sub-networks, and the economy of scale/quality of service issue. This economy of scale issue is critical to us, and this report is causing us to think about our organization and our strategies in new ways."Al Andino, VP for Strategic Partnerships, Institute for Student Achievement, New York
"This study better educates the public, more specifically foundations, public school districts, and elected officials, on the various educational and management practices used by charter schools. As a result, these types of studies help further strengthen the charter school movement by promoting these entrepreneurial and diverse practices of a pool of successful national charter school operators."Juan Rangel, CEO, United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) and President, UNO Charter School Network (UCSN)