PCPCS Publications

PCPCS is pleased to provide a variety of our publications online and in one location for school leaders, teachers, families, charter school authorizers and school communities for critical decision-making purposes.

Special Reports

NEW! Pennsylvania Charter Schools by the Numbers: A breakdown of Pennsylvania Charter Schools by type, locale, and years of operation.

PCPCS Quality Standards WorkbookAcross Pennsylvania and our nation, the education community has a difficult time quantifying what makes a high-quality public charter school. When looking only at test scores, some Pennsylvania charter schools (and traditional public schools) fail to achieve what is considered a passing grade on the state’s standardized tests and charter school adversaries use this poor performance on test scores as an opportunity to attack the broader charter sector. At PCPCS, we have decided that it is time to formally define a “high-quality public charter school” by going beyond just test scores by creating a workbook that we believe  can assist charter schools to prepare for renewal, during periods of transition, or any other time of self-reflection. 

Pennsylvania’s Charter Schools: Doing More With Less: Did you know, some K-12 students in Pennsylvania receive less funding to support their education than their peers? Despite receiving less funding per student, charter schools are providing taxpayers a bigger bang for their buck than their district counterparts. Click here to read how charter schools are providing taxpayers a bigger bang for their buck than their district counterparts.

NEW! Cyber Charter School’s CTE Programs: PA’s Public Cyber Charter Schools provide public school students with real world work place and career engagement opportunities that are not limited by zip code or traditional Monday-Friday; 8-3 schedules.

NEW! Pennsylvania’s Public Cyber Charter Schools & Special Education: On Average, 21.8% of PA’s Public Cyber Charter School Student enrollment is comprised of students who receive special education supports to meet their academic goals vs only 16.9% for all other public schools.

Cyber Charter Schools: The FACTS You Need to Know: Since the passage of Charter School Law in 1997, both brick and mortar and Cyber Charter Schools have been at the forefront of educationally innovation programs improving academic outcomes for all students across Pennsylvania. Through continuous research and refinement, pilot programs, and partnerships with local school districts; charter schools and Cyber Charter Schools continue to help shape the future of education throughout the Commonwealth leading Pennsylvania to become one of the best educational systems in the nation. You can read the full document and one pager  here.

The Overwhelming Reason Parents are Choosing Charter Schools: Choosing a school is really a life-altering decision for families. It’s an investment in time today and much more for the future. By having the charter school option, parents in our state have been empowered to select the environment that works best for each child—because no single school, no matter how good or convenient, can meet the distinct needs of each and every young student in Pennsylvania. Click here to read The Overwhelming reason parents are choosing charter schools

Myths and Facts about Charter Schools: Despite the success of charter schools, or perhaps because of it, misconceptions abound about what charter schools are and what they do. Supporters of the educational status quo have propagated a number of myths about charter schools—myths that have sometimes proven hard to dispel in the popular press and with some members of the general public. Today, perhaps more than ever, it is critical that these myths be dispelled. Click here to read Myths vs Facts about Charter Schools.

PCPCS: Who we are: The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) is the voice of public charter schools in the state of Pennsylvania – representing both brick-and-mortar and cyber schools throughout the Keystone State. We advocate for the rights of charter school students, parents, educators, and leaders! Click here to find out more about the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools. 

2018 Year In Review: Click here to look back on PCPCS’ 2018 Accomplishments.

2017 Year In Review:  Click here to look back at the 10 most exciting milestones and accomplishments of 2017.

Innovation Spotlight

The PCPCS Innovation Spotlight provides charter schools the opportunity to tell other charter schools about a program, project or initiative successfully implemented that involved change, innovation, or the enhancement of academic or administrative excellence and effectiveness.

Olney Charter High School Philadelphia, PA

Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship, Pittsburgh, PA

Nittany Valley Charter School, State College, PA

Commonwealth Charter Academy

Agora Cyber Charter School

Videos

NEW! Follow the Money: Are charter schools taking money from traditional public schools? To get to the truth, you need to follow the money! PCPCS created this video that shows how public education money works.

PCPCS Video Featuring Students, Teachers, Parents, and Charter Leaders: In celebration of charter schools and the impact they have on students and families, PCPCS and PA Virtual Charter School have created a short video that epitomizes why we all do the hard work of advocating and educating each and every day. The students are at the heart of everything we do. They are our inspiration and our greatest achievement. Despite the opposition, we know that our students, their successes, and their dreams are what continue to motivate us to pursue a unified voice for charters and choice.

Does School Choice Matter?: Watch this video that shows why school choice matters, featuring charter leaders from across PA!

Issue Briefs

Under the latest changes in the PDE’s truancy law, charter schools are now directed to file the truancy complaint directly with the district judge. However, school districts have been  allowed to continue to deduct their expenses from the PDE 363, giving the charter schools the burden of responsibility without the funds associated with the costs. Click here to download our issue brief related to truancy issues and charter schools.

Dual enrollment, which allows high school students to enroll in and receive credit for college courses, is a nationally recognized opportunity for students of all academic abilities to achieve success not only in high school but at post-secondary institutions. By not permitting this option for Pennsylvania’s cyber school students, policy makers are denying them the ability to acquire college credits while in high school, experience the college classroom, save on post-secondary tuition, and accelerate their time to college graduation.Click here to read our issue brief on Dual Enrollment for Cyber Charter Students.

Current state guidance with regards to the transportation of students with disabilities from home to school and school to home is discriminatory and inconsistent with practices for regular education students in the state of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the guidance issued on October 1, 2004 is costing taxpayers more money than necessary for the transportation of these public-school students. Click here to read our position on the transportation needs of student with disabilities.