PA House Fails Pennsylvania Children
October 18, 2012
The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) is incredibly disappointed that the House of Representatives has chosen to bow to special interest groups over the well being of the children of this state. In failing to pass SB 1115, the House rejected three years of work by people who have been sincerely and passionately dedicated to crafting legislation that increases accountability for charter schools and provides better quality educational options for our children.
We would like to thank Rep. Thomas Killion (R-168) for his tireless efforts to provide more and better education options, but this lack of action by the House continues to deny hope to our most vulnerable children; is a stand against higher standards and accountability; keeps charter legislation in Pennsylvania 15 years behind the best educational practices; and is a national embarrassment for the Commonwealth.
Why this happened is a good civics lesson for our children. At the last minute, all of the work to provide a more accountable and transparent education system was destroyed by misinformation and intimidation by organizations that represent the entrenched special interests in the educational monopoly. It was nothing more than a power play by those in power to retain power, at the expense of our parents and children. It’s not disappointing to us that such tactics were attempted, but it is incredibly disappointing that they worked. Not only did they work, but the House never brought SB 1115 to a vote, so no individual could ever see how his or her Representative would have voted.
If our Representatives are not going to stand for our most disadvantaged children, then someone has to. Today marks a new day in the debate on improving education in this state. If the legislature will not work for our children, then we will seriously investigate class action suits against every one of the hundreds of school districts in the state that thumb their noses at the law by flatly, and illegally, refusing to pay charter schools for the children whom the charter schools are educating and vigorously fight against illegal caps. The charter community will NEVER agree to any change to the current funding of charter schools without a fair and independent review of ALL costs.
Yesterday was a sad day for the parents and children of Pennsylvania.