100+ School Districts Call for Gov. Wolf’s Charter Reforms

March 05, 2020

Leaders of more than 100 school districts across Pennsylvania have called on the legislature to enact Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed Charter School Law reforms. These changes would allow school districts to reinvest an additional $280 million into their classrooms while ensuring charter schools are held accountable for the quality of education they provide.

“Every child in Pennsylvania deserves the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, but our current law allows some charter schools to perform poorly at the expense of students enrolled in traditional district schools,” said Gov. Wolf. “My charter school law proposal will benefit all students while helping to ensure all schools are held to the same quality and ethics standards.”

Gov. Wolf’s package of policy and budget initiatives include applying the special education funding formula to all charter schools, establishing a statewide cyber charter tuition rate, and improving the tuition redirection process. The changes will better align payments made to charter schools with the actual cost of educating students. Clarification of the redirection process will increase fairness, accountability, and transparency.

Taxpayers spent $1.8 billion on charter schools last year, including more than $500 million on cyber charter schools. The rising cost of charter schools is draining funding from traditional public schools, which has forced cuts to classroom programs and property tax increases.

A recent 2020 State of Education survey conducted by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) determined that more than 70 percent of Pennsylvania’s public school districts identified mandatory charter school tuition costs as one of their biggest sources of budget pressure.

“The charter funding issue is not a new budget challenge, but it is a significant and rising one and its imbalance is causing grave issues for the school districts,” said PSBA Chief Executive Officer Nathan G. Mains. “We appreciate and support Governor Wolf’s attention paid to this in his budget proposal. We are proud of our more than 100 school districts that have adopted the resolution calling for charter school funding reform. Our work will continue until the situation is righted and we are appreciative to have the support of the governor.”

The 108 school districts voicing their need for Charter School Law reform are:

Albert Gallatin Area School District Allegheny-Clarion Valley School District
Altoona Area School District Athens Area School District
Belle Vernon Area School District Bellwood-Antis School District
Bensalem Township School District Bethlehem Area School District
Bradford Area School District Brownsville Area School District
California Area School District Canon-Mcmillan School District
Carbondale Area School District Central Columbia School District
Central Greene School District Central Valley School District
Charleroi Area School District Conemaugh Valley School District
Conneaut School District Connellsville Area School District
Cornell School District Corry Area School District
Coudersport Area School District Cranberry Area School District
Delaware Valley School District Derry Area School District
Duquesne City School District Elk Lake School District
Erie City School District Fannett-Metal School District
Forest Area School District Forest City Regional School District
Fort Leboeuf School District Frazier School District
Gateway School District Greater Latrobe School District
Hazleton Area School District Hempfield Area School District
Highlands School District Hopewell Area School District
Indiana Area School District Interboro School District
Jamestown Area School District Jefferson-Morgan School District
Jersey Shore Area School District Keystone Central School District
Lackawanna Trail School District Lakeland School District
Laurel Highlands School District Leechburg Area School District
Middletown Area School District Midd-West School District
Mifflin County School District Millcreek Township School District
Montoursville Area School District Mount Pleasant Area School District
Muhlenberg School District Neshannock Township School District
North Hills School District Northampton Area School District
Northern Cambria School District Northern Tioga School District
Northgate School District Norwin School District
Oil City Area School District Oswayo Valley School District
Otto-Eldred School District Panther Valley School District
Parkland School District Penn Cambria School District
Penncrest School District Peters Township School District
Pittsburgh School District Quakertown Community School District
Ridgway Area School District Ringgold School District
Rochester Area School District Sayre Area School District
Schuylkill Valley School District Shamokin Area School District
Sharon City School District Somerset Area School District
South Fayette Township School District Southeastern Greene School District
Southern Columbia Area School District Southern York County School District
Stroudsburg Area School District Susquehanna Community School District
The School District of Haverford Township The School District of Lancaster
Uniontown Area School District Upper Darby School District
Upper Dublin School District Upper St. Clair Township School District
Wallingford-Swarthmore School District Washington School District
West Chester Area School District West Jefferson Hills School District
West Middlesex Area School District West Shore School District
West York Area School District William Penn School District
Wilmington Area School District Woodland Hills School District
York Suburban School District Yough School District

 

SHARE Email Facebook Twitter