More than 90% of Pennsylvania’s locally elected school boards have passed a resolution calling on the General Assembly to enact meaningful charter reform, the Keystone Center for Charter Change at PSBA reported during a press conference at the state Capitol on Monday.
At the event, a bipartisan group of legislators and advocates raised the need for greater accountability, increased transparency and fairer payments to charter schools for the cost of providing an education.
Mandatory charter school tuition payments put a significant strain on public schools’ budgets. In the recently released 2023 State of Education report, mandatory charter school tuition payments were the top source of budget pressure for a fourth consecutive year.
Speakers also noted that it is critical that Pennsylvania’s students receive a high-quality education.
This is not a new issue. Larry Feinberg, director of KCCC, has been testifying on the need for charter reform as far back as 2007.
The consensus of more than 450 of Pennsylvania’s 500 public school districts shows that the General Assembly must address this issue to “ensure public education funds are spent efficiently and appropriately; that charter schools are as accountable and transparent as other public schools; and preserve and strengthen educational choice by bolstering the law to ensure only quality charter school options are available to students and families,” as Gleason stated.