Pennsylvania Gets an ‘F’ on Charter Funding in National Study
May 01, 2014
A University of Arkansas charter funding study found that, on average, Pennsylvania charter schools receive significantly less per pupil than district schools
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania received an “F” on a new University of Arkansas nationwide study of public school funding, Charter Funding: Inequity Expands, released yesterday. The study found that, on average nationwide, charter schools receive $3,059 less per pupil than traditional public schools. In Pennsylvania, charters receive $5,844 less per pupil, or 31.9 percent less than their traditional school counterparts, ranking Pennsylvania 23rd out of the 31 states with charter schools in the study.
“This funding differential is not news to any educator in Pennsylvania”, said Robert Fayfich, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools. “What is news is how poorly Pennsylvania ranks relative to other states with charter schools.”
The report further investigated the comparison of funding disparity in 50 major metropolitan areas, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Both cities received an “F” and Pittsburgh, with an $11,834 per pupil difference between the district and charter schools, ranked 49th out of 50. “In areas of Pennsylvania where public school choice is most in demand, the disparities seem to be the greatest,” Fayfich said.
“This study is extremely timely because the Pennsylvania General Assembly is now considering additional pension and special education cuts only to charter schools which will further widen this gap and severely challenge the viability of the charter school option for Pennsylvania parents,” said Fayfich.
“Parents are demanding better educational options for their children, yet some people in Pennsylvania seem to be intent on killing the charter school option by financially strangling them to death, regardless of the quality of the education they provide,” Fayfich said. “Such misguided policy is not in the best interests of the children, parents, or future of Pennsylvania.”