Eighty Percent of Pennsylvania School Districts Call for Charter Reform
The Courier Express/Leader Vindicator by Josh Walzak, May 29, 2021
HARRISBURG – Leaders of more than 400 school districts across Pennsylvania, representing more than 80 percent of school districts in the commonwealth, have called on the General Assembly to pass commonsense reforms to the commonwealth’s broken, outdated charter school law. These changes would hold charter schools accountable for both the quality and cost of the education they provide, while saving school districts and taxpayers nearly $400 million a year. “Thank you to educators and school board members across Pennsylvania for calling attention to the ways charter school reform will help your communities,” said Gov. Wolf. “My bipartisan reform plan will improve education quality for students, lower costs for schools and taxpayers, and ensure accountability to the public – while still providing charters with the resources they need to provide a high-quality education to their students.” The governor’s proposal would save school districts an estimated $395 million a year by better aligning charter school funding to actual costs. The savings include $185 million by funding special education in charter schools the same way the state does for all other public schools and $210 million a year by establishing a statewide cyber charter school tuition rate. The sky-rocketing cost of charter schools is draining funding from traditional public schools and forcing school districts to cut education programs and raise property raises. At the same time, many charter schools are underperforming.
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