HARRISBURG (December 22, 2020) – The following is a statement from Lenny McAllister, CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS), regarding the recent passage of new federal funding to address pandemic-related concerns for public schools.

 “We are pleased that Congress has passed a new COVID relief package. Many Americans, including the families of the students that attend our public charter schools in Pennsylvania, need support right now. This new legislation will greatly assist public schools with managing the unexpected and ongoing costs associated with the COVID pandemic. Public charter schools, which serve higher percentages of children from underserved communities, have demonstrated leadership in ensuring their students receive a quality education during the pandemic.

As part of the public education system, brick-and-mortar public charter schools are faced with the same challenges as school districts. They must shift to virtual learning during COVID spikes and thus must ensure that their students had access to technology. Public cyber charter schools saw their enrollments dramatically increase as families sought these schools’ expertise with online learning. We thank the cyber charter schools that offered from the beginning of the pandemic to share their 20 years of expertise with any brick-and-mortar school in need of assistance.

We appreciate the CARES Act funding that Governor Wolf and the General Assembly already allocated to public charter schools earlier this year. We ask that this latest round of funding be shared equitably throughout public education in Pennsylvania, with fair funding for public charter schools which teach more than 160,000 students in Pennsylvania this school year.

Our students attend public schools, as every charter school in Pennsylvania is a public school. And more often than not, our students come from underserved communities that are disproportionately suffering through this pandemic. They are experiencing the same education challenges as their peers in district schools. They deserve the same support in being able to continue their education.”

For more information, contact Jess Hickernell at j.hickernell@pacharters.org or 717-371-8155.