Last week PSBA sent comments to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the PA Department of Education (PDE) regarding PDE’s final-form proposed regulations for charter schools and cyber charter schools. The final-form regulations contain changes made by PDE following the public comment period. IRRC will be considering the proposal at its meeting on March 21.
The department states that the regulation:
- Clarifies elements of the Charter School Law (CSL) and sets conditions that emphasize accountability, equity, quality, and transparency.
- Establishes a minimum standard for charter school, regional charter school and cyber charter school application.
- Better ensures non-discriminatory student enrollment policies as required by the CSL.
- Clarifies that charter and cyber charter school boards of trustees are subject to the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act.
- Requires standard fiscal management and auditing practices.
- Details the tuition payment redirection process for charter school entities and school districts.
- Specifies minimum standards for the provision of health care benefits.
PSBA acknowledges the limited reach of the regulatory process to substantially address charter school reforms, and generally supports the proposal as a step in the right direction. However, the association also notes that there are still several areas in the final regulations which would benefit from further clarification and revision, particularly regarding the application process, fiscal management and audit requirements and the process for the redirection of payments. Read PSBA’s letter.
For those individuals who wish to provide comments regarding the final proposed regulations, we encourage you to do so by submitting them to IRRC. The commission will review comments up to 48 hours prior to the beginning of the March 21 meeting. Comments may be sent to: Independent Regulatory Review Commission, 333 Market Street, 14th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101. Comments may also be transmitted via email to email@example.com.