For Immediate Release
Media contact for PSBA:
Chief Communications Officer
Pennsylvania School Boards Association
Charter School Taskforce Report Released: The Outcome of a Multiyear Effort Spearheaded by PSBA
Mechanicsburg, PA (May 20, 2021) – The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) announced today, the release of a Charter School Task Force Report. The report is a result of a multiyear effort that began in December 2019, bringing together school board directors, superintendents and school solicitors to examine the state’s current charter school law, along with previous efforts to update the law. In addition, the taskforce examined data and conducted panel discussions with advocates and organizations representing different perspectives in order to develop a series of specific, balanced recommendations for meaningful charter school reforms.
The report explores how charter schools have grown since they were created in 1997, how charter schools are funded, and compares charter school spending and academic performance with that of traditional school districts.
“Last year school districts spent nearly $2.2 billion of taxpayer money in charter school tuition payments. Charters, particularly cyber charters are being overpaid because the flawed funding formulas for regular and special education are based on a school district’s expenditures and not what it actually costs to educate a child in the charter school. Fixing this problem would create hundreds of millions of dollars for school districts,” said Nathan Mains, PSBA CEO.
In addition to funding issues, the task force discussed various concerns including the need for public access to data concerning charter school operations and performance, including budgetary and financial information, as well as public representation on charter school boards of trustees. The series of task force recommendations call for possible charter school law reforms to ensure accountability and transparency, savings in taxpayer resources and the assurance that taxpayers will be aware of how their public education dollars are being spent.
Downloadable PDF of the Charter School Taskforce Report here.
PSBA is a nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for the public schools of the commonwealth. Founded in 1895, PSBA now more than 125 years old was the first school boards association established in the United States.