PCPCS News

State Budget Would Fund Public Schools for Another Year

Public charter schools continue to serve students and their communities during pandemic

HARRISBURG (May 28, 2020) – The General Assembly today sent Governor Wolf a five-month state budget that flat funds education spending for public charter schools and district schools for the fiscal year 2020-2021. The following is a statement from Ana Meyers, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS), on the state budget.

“On behalf of Pennsylvania’s public charter schools, their educators and their more than 143,000 students, I want to thank the General Assembly for prioritizing public education in this abbreviated budget and maintaining level funding for public charter schools. Knowing that schools are required to finalize their budgets by June 30, the House and Senate ensured that public schools would receive 12 months of funding, which will help them plan for the new school year.

Public charter school leaders and staff – both in brick-and-mortar and cyber schools – have worked tirelessly to ensure that their students are continuing their education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brick-and-mortar charter schools have supplied students with computers, so they have the technology and tools they need for online learning, and served their communities as food distribution centers during the shut down.

Pennsylvania’s public cyber charter schools, which have been teaching students online for more than 20 years, have offered their assistance and best practices to all schools transitioning to virtual learning. They will continue to offer guidance as schools seek innovative ways to instruct students online.

We also want to thank state lawmakers for ensuring that Pennsylvania’s public charter schools received an equitable share of CARES Act funding in the School Code Bill, which will help schools reopen when it is safe for students, teachers and staff. We encourage Governor Wolf to see the value of public charter schools to their students, families and communities as he determines how further CARES Act funding is to be distributed.

PA’s public charter schools remain committed to helping their students, their families and their communities during this pandemic. And we will continue to work with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and state officials to plan for a safe reopening of our schools in the 2020-21 school year.

We urge Governor Wolf to sign the state budget that lawmakers approved and look forward to continuing to serve Pennsylvania’s public charter school students as they finish their school year.”

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For more information, please contact Jess Hickernell at j.hickernell@pacharters.org

About PCPCS: The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) is the state’s largest and most active organization advocating for both brick-and-mortar and cyber charter schools. Pennsylvania’s 180 charter schools educate more than 143,000 students and demand for these public schools continue to grow with more than 40,000 students on charter school waitlists. For more information on PCPCS or charters schools, visit www.pacharters.org.