This study provides the first systematic analysis of the composition of charter school governing boards. We assemble a dataset of charter school boards in Massachusetts from 2001 to 2013 and investigate the consequences of donor and founder representation on governing boards. We find that the presence of donors on the charter school boards is positively related to financial performance and attribute this result to the donors' strong monitoring incentives because of their financial stakes in the school. We also show that financial outcomes are not generated at the expense of academic outcomes, as the presence of donors on the boards is also associated with higher student achievement. Founder representation on charter school boards, on the other hand, is associated with lower financial performance but higher academic achievement.

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