July 01, 2016
There are many elements in HB 530 that the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools has supported for years and, overall, this is good and long-needed legislation.
We commend Representative Reese, Chairman Saylor and their Leaders for their commitment to reforming charter law that has seen no major changes in almost 20 years and enhances accountability, operational efficiency, and financial stewardship for all charter schools. However, we have a concern that the proposed legislation makes arbitrary cuts to cyber charter schools, which is especially disconcerting at a time when all public schools continue to reel from the funding shortfalls caused by last year’s extended budget impasse.
It continues to be our position that no arbitrary cuts should be made until the funding commission, that is created in HB 530, has the opportunity take an independent and bipartisan look at the actual costs of funding cyber education and make recommendations.
This process has worked well in both the Special Education and Basic Education Funding Commissions, but in neither of those cases were any changes made prior to the investigation, deliberation, and recommendations of the commissions. It should not be different in the funding of charter schools.
Robert Fayfich, Executive Director
Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools