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07/23/2021 12:01 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=22562
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 27, 2017 10:57 AM
From: Representative Mike Turzai
To: All House members
Subject: Charter School Seats in School Districts of the First Class and First Class A
 
I am preparing to introduce legislation to reduce the number of children on waiting lists for charter school enrollment by requiring an increase in available charter school seats in school districts of the first class and first class A.

Charter schools are a lifeline for children who otherwise would be forced to attend poorly performing schools based solely on their residence. Particularly in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the number of available charter school seats has not kept up with the high demand for enrollment. As a result, it is estimated that as many as 30,000 students sit on waiting lists in these cities, hoping for an opportunity to enroll in a charter school that meets the needs of these students and their families.

To reduce the number of children on charter school waiting lists in the School Districts of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, my proposed legislation will require the following, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year and continuing through the 2021-2022 school year:
  • An expansion of available charter school seats above the number authorized for the immediately preceding school year, either by approval of new charter applications, expansion of permitted enrollment at existing charter schools or a combination of both, by a minimum of 3,000 new seats in a school district of the first class and by a minimum of 500 new seats in a school district of the first class A. New seats established in any school year that exceed the required number of new seats may be applied toward the requirement for the following year.
  • For each charter revoked or not renewed in a school district of the first class or in a school district of the first class A, establishment of an equivalent number of new charter school seats in another charter school, either by approval of new charter applications, expansion of permitted enrollment in existing charter schools or a combination of both.

Through this legislation, we can help ensure that families who seek to choose a charter school education for their children are not prevented from doing so due to enrollment constraints and long waiting lists. Every family should have the opportunity to exercise school choice and not be denied educational opportunities solely because of their address.

Thank you for your consideration.



Introduced as HB700