FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HARRISBURG, Pa., February 27, 2023 – More than 90% of Pennsylvania’s locally elected school boards have passed a resolution calling on the General Assembly to enact meaningful charter reform, the Keystone Center for Charter Change (KCCC) reported during a press conference at the state Capitol on Monday.
At the event, a bipartisan group of legislators and advocates raised the need for greater accountability, increased transparency and fairer payments to charter schools for the cost of providing an education.
Mandatory charter school tuition payments put a significant strain on public schools’ budgets. In the recently released 2023 State of Education report, mandatory charter school tuition payments were the top source of budget pressure for a fourth consecutive year.
David Schaap, 2023 Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) president, emphasized that KCCC does not advocate for the “elimination or abolishment of charter schools in Pennsylvania.” Rather, the organization is “asking that school districts and local taxpayers pay fairly for the costs of providing a charter school education and for greater accountability and transparency of charter schools.”
Speakers also noted that it is critical that Pennsylvania’s students receive a high-quality education. “We owe it to our children and to the taxpayers to make sure that we are doing everything possible so that students are getting the best education and that we are being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Rob Gleason, KCCC resident and former Pennsylvania GOP party chair. “Every cyber charter school in operation has been identified as being in need of improvement,” he continued.
This is not a new issue. Larry Feinberg, director of KCCC, has been testifying on the need for charter reform as far back as 2007.
The consensus of more than 450 of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts shows that the General Assembly must address this issue to “ensure public education funds are spent efficiently and appropriately; that charter schools are as accountable and transparent as other public schools; and preserve and strengthen educational choice by bolstering the law to ensure only quality charter school options are available to students and families,” as Gleason stated.
About KCCC: The Keystone Center for Charter Change is an organization operated by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association that is dedicated to building support for the development and enactment of legislation that would provide governance and funding changes to Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law.