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12/05/2020 06:02 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=27415
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 4, 2019 11:26 AM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Pennsylvania Charter School Oversight
 
When enacted, Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law was heralded as groundbreaking, with promises of improved, innovative and measurable academic standards. Twenty-one years later, there are 179 charter schools in the state, 87 of which are in Philadelphia. Although some have flourished, the reality for many is that promises have not come to light. In fact, Pennsylvania was ranked 34th out of 43 states and Washington D.C. for current practices and standards in the authorizing process for charter schools by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers in 2016.

The law that assured improvements in education is outdated and riddled with problems recognized nationally and statewide. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has highlighted failures of the current system and provided recommendations to reform the charter school law, including the establishment of an independent statewide charter school oversight board.

As such, I am proposing the establishment of a Pennsylvania Charter School Oversight Board to review denied applications submitted for new charter schools, as well as any revocation or renewal by a local board of school directors for charter schools located in a city of the first class. The board would also have the ability to review applications submitted and denials made by the State Charter School Appeal Board for new charter schools located in a city of the first class, authorize charter schools located in a city of the first class and support charter school quality and accountability through performance monitoring and technical assistance.

Please join me in implementing a much needed reform to our Charter School Law. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.



Introduced as HB339