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PRINTER'S NO. 3859
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2553
Session of
2018
INTRODUCED BY B. O'NEILL, McCARTER, DALEY, DeLUCA, EVERETT,
KORTZ, LONGIETTI, NEILSON, OBERLANDER, SCHLOSSBERG, STURLA,
TOOHIL AND WATSON, JULY 10, 2018
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, JULY 10, 2018
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in charter schools, further providing
for funding for charter schools.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 1725-A(a) of the act of March 10, 1949
(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, is
amended to read:
Section 1725-A. Funding for Charter Schools.--(a) Funding
for a charter school shall be provided in the following manner:
(1) There shall be no tuition charge for a resident or
nonresident student attending a charter school.
(2) For non-special education students, the charter school
shall receive for each student enrolled no less than the
[budgeted] total expenditure per average daily membership of the
prior school year, as defined in section 2501(20), minus the
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[budgeted] revenues received by a school district under section
2599.6(a)(2) and expenditures of the district of residence for
funds from Federal sources; pre-kindergarten programs; early
intervention programs; nonpublic school programs; adult
education programs; community/junior college programs; student
transportation services; for special education programs;
facilities acquisition, construction and improvement services;
and other financing uses, including debt service and fund
transfers as provided in the Manual of Accounting and Related
Financial Procedures for Pennsylvania School Systems established
by the department. This amount shall be calculated by the
department pursuant to clause (2.1) and paid by the district of
residence of each student.
(2.1) On or before April 30 of each school year, the
department shall calculate and post on its publicly accessible
Internet website the per student amounts payable by a student's
school district of residence under clauses (2) and (3) using the
district's annual financial report filed under section 218 and
the district's average daily membership calculated under section
2501(3) and 22 Pa. Code ยง 329.3 (relating to computations) for
the prior school year. The department shall also post on its
publicly accessible Internet website each district's average
daily membership and the data from each district's annual
financial report as used to calculate the per student amounts
under this clause. Until the department calculates and posts the
per student amounts under this clause, the per student amounts
payable by a student's district of residence shall be the per
student amounts calculated and posted by the department for the
prior school year. The amounts calculated by the department are
not subject to clause (6).
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(3) For special education students, the charter school shall
receive for each student enrolled the same funding as for each
non-special education student as provided in clause (2), plus an
additional amount determined by dividing the district of
residence's total special education expenditure [by the product
of multiplying the combined percentage of section 2509.5(k)
times the district of residence's total average daily membership
for the prior school year.] minus the expenditures of the
district of residence for funds from Federal sources and for
early intervention programs by the district of residence's
average daily membership of special education students as
calculated by the department. This amount shall be calculated by
the department pursuant to clause (2.1) and paid by the district
of residence of each student.
(4) A charter school may request the intermediate unit in
which the charter school is located to provide services to
assist the charter school to address the specific needs of
exceptional students. The intermediate unit shall assist the
charter school and bill the charter school for the services. The
intermediate unit may not charge the charter school more for any
service than it charges the constituent districts of the
intermediate unit.
(5) (i) Payments shall be made to the charter school in
twelve (12) [equal] monthly payments using the most currently
available per student amounts calculated and posted by the
department pursuant to clause (2.1), by the fifth day of each
month, within the operating school year. All payments made
during an operating school year shall be adjusted using the most
currently available per student amounts calculated and posted by
the department pursuant to clause (2.1). A student enrolled in a
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charter school shall be included in the average daily membership
of the student's district of residence for the purpose of
providing basic education funding payments and special education
funding pursuant to Article XXV. If a school district fails to
make a payment to a charter school as prescribed in this clause,
the secretary shall deduct and pay the estimated amount, as
documented by the charter school on forms prescribed by the
department, from any and all State payments made to the district
after receipt of documentation from the charter school. A
charter school may only seek deduction and payment by the
secretary under this clause for estimated amounts owed to the
charter school for students enrolled in the most current school
year and due as of the date the request is submitted to the
secretary.
(ii) No later than October 1 of each year, a charter school
shall submit to the school district of residence of each student
final documentation of payment to be made based on the average
daily membership for the students enrolled in the charter school
from the school district for the previous school year[.] and the
most currently available per student amounts calculated and
posted by the department pursuant to clause (2.1). All payments
made during the prior school year shall be adjusted using the
most currently available per student amounts calculated and
posted by the department pursuant to clause (2.1). If a school
district fails to make payment to the charter school, the
secretary shall deduct and pay the amount as documented by the
charter school from any and all State payments made to the
district after receipt of documentation from the charter school
from the appropriations for the fiscal year in which the final
documentation of payment was submitted to the school district of
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residence. The secretary shall not make a deduction unless the
charter school provides the secretary with documentation
demonstrating that the charter school presented the school
district with a request for payment by the charter school on or
before October 1 and that the school district did not make a
payment as prescribed by this clause within thirty (30) days of
the receipt of the information. If a charter school does not
submit final documentation of payment to be made to a school
district on or before October 1 as required by this clause, the
secretary shall not deduct funds from State payments to the
district and shall proceed to adjudicate the charter school's
payment request in a proceeding under 1 Pa. Code Part II
(relating to general rules of administrative practice and
procedure), or other applicable regulations promulgated or
adopted by the department. Following issuance of a final order,
deduction and payment may be made by the department from any and
all State payments due to a school district in any school year.
All requests for payment under this clause must be submitted to
the department no later than April 25 of each year. The
secretary shall prioritize payments under this clause before
payments under subclause (i).
(iii) The secretary shall not process a deduction for a
closed charter school.
(6) Within thirty (30) days after the secretary makes the
deduction described in clause (5), a school district may notify
the secretary that the deduction made from State payments to the
district under this subsection is inaccurate. The secretary
shall provide the school district with an opportunity to be
heard concerning whether the charter school documented that its
students were enrolled in the charter school, the period of time
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during which each student was enrolled, the school district of
residence of each student and whether the amounts deducted from
the school district were accurate. If the secretary determines
that a school district or charter school has engaged in
arbitrary, dilatory, obdurate or vexatious conduct with respect
to any matter heard under this clause, the secretary may impose
against such party the costs incurred by the department in
hearing the matter and may also impose reasonable counsel fees
and other taxable costs against such party and in favor of the
appropriate prevailing party in the proceeding.
* * *
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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