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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 5, 2019 08:43 AM
From: Representative Matthew D. Dowling
To: All House members
Subject: Charter School Reform – Facilities Regulations
Please join me by cosponsoring legislation that I plan to introduce in the near future regarding facilities for charter schools, regional charter schools, and cyber charter schools (“charter school entities”).

The legislation will improve several provisions of the Charter School Law related to facilities, including:
  • Granting charter school entities a right of first refusal for the purchase or lease of unused school district buildings,
  • Requiring school districts, intermediate units, member institutions of the State System of Higher Education and community colleges to make their facilities available to cyber charter school students for purposes of standardized testing, in accordance with the same policy that would apply to other organizations and community groups, and
  • Requiring charter school entities to cover or remove religious objects and symbols if using a sectarian facility.
The reforms embodied in my legislation is part of a legislative package of four bills critical to improving and strengthening our Charter School Law, which was groundbreaking upon its enactment in 1997 but has become outdated over time. We must make these reforms now in order to maintain charter, regional charter and cyber charter schools as a strong, quality school choice option for the Commonwealth’s children and families.

Introduced as HB356