Charter school funding needs reform, say local superintendents

WLVR/NPR by Hayden Mitman, May 23, 2022

Local school superintendents are calling for reforms on how charter schools are funded.

They met virtually Friday with the Keystone Center for Charter Change which is part of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. According to the center, every year public school districts pay more than $3 billion to charter schools in the state. The center also claims that over the past 12 years, charter school costs to taxpayers have ballooned by more than 250%. These funds are taken from districts where charters get their students. Jennifer Holman, superintendent of the Northwestern Lehigh School District, said the impact on already cash-strapped districts can be significant. “For example, at Northwestern Lehigh, in [school year] 2022-23, we are expected to spend nearly $2.1 million of our $50 million budget on approximately 120 students attending charter schools,” she said Holman said schools in her district can typically support that same number of students for a fraction of that cost.

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