I am sharing this information that was sent to me from Education Voters. Please read, act and share. I know that I have a reputation for “being anti-charter school.” I see why I have that reputation. However, more accurate is “pro charter school reforms.” Right now there is no data that shows that charters universally outperform public schools, that is a myth. Sure, one particular charter school may do better than the public school in that same community, but across the board, they do not. Also, it’s a fallacy that all kids in PA have school choice. Not all children are welcome in the charter schools, despite what the laws and regs say. How it plays out day to day is very different, and not all of PA’s kids have school choice. So until my son and others like him are welcome in the charter schools, sure, I’ll be more supportive. But understandably, me and many other parents like me, and less than thrilled to watch charter schools (where our own kids are not welcome) drain our public districts of scant resources. Anyway, rant over….here is the information.
Right now, state lawmakers are discussing cyber charter school funding reform that would save our school districts $160 million per year.
As you might expect, cyber charter school lobbyists are in Harrisburg fighting against this commonsense reform.
We need to send a message to Harrisburg that we expect our state lawmakers to support cyber charter school funding reform. They need to hear from us TODAY.
In his budget, Governor Wolf has proposed to save PA school districts $160 million per year simply by eliminating overpayments to corporations that operate cyber charter schools. The money saved through this reform can be reinvested in our public schools to restore programs that our schools have cut in recent years.
The logic behind Governor Wolf’s proposal is simple. If our public education system can provide high-quality cyber school education to students for $6000 or less per student, per year, why would our state government mandate that school districts pay tuition of $9,000-$40,000 per student, per year to commercial/private cyber charter school operating corporations to provide the same service?
Governor Wolf’s proposal would mandate that school districts provide a generous and standard tuition payment of $5950 per regular education student to cyber charter schools. Special education rates would be higher and based on the new special education funding formula.
It is important to recognize that for some students, a cyber school education is the most appropriate option and that all families should have access to a high-quality cyber education for their children.
However, this doesn’t mean that our state government should allow an uncontrolled and unaccountable system for funding cyber charter schools to continue. Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools have consistently ranked among the lowest performing schools in the state. Not one single cyber charter school received a PA School Performance Profile score of 70 or higher.
When school districts throughout PA are raising local taxes and cutting programs in order to balance their budgets, we need our state lawmakers to support commonsense cyber charter school funding reform that will save school districts $160 million and allow them to begin restoring some of the programs and services they have cut in recent years.
Thank you for your support of public education.
Susan Gobreski, Executive Director, Education Voters of PA