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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 17, 2019 01:22 PM
From: Representative Joe Ciresi
To: All House members
Subject: Charter School Payment Choice
Charter schools in Pennsylvania are siphoning money from many school districts which many districts can ill afford to lose. Currently, school districts must pay for students from their district to attend a charter school even if it is located outside of the school district’s boundaries and has not been authorized by the district. This means that the district is paying money without any ability to ensure that their students are actually receiving the quality education their local taxpayers are funding.

My legislation would give the local school board of a sending school district the option of voting by June 30 of each year whether or not to make payments to a charter school located outside the district’s boundaries and over which the district has no control or oversight. If the school district chooses to not pay for the student and the student continues to attend the charter school, the student or his or her parent or guardian would be responsible to pay the tuition. In that case, the student would no longer be included in the local school district’s average daily membership calculation for determining state funding, nor would the school district qualify for state temporary assistance or grants available to assist districts with charter school payments.

We need to be fair to local school districts that have not had a say in whether or not to authorize a particular charter school but are, nevertheless, required to pay to send a student to that charter school. School districts should not be subject to losing precious limited funding dollars to send one of their students to a charter school that the school district itself has not authorized.

Please join me in supporting our local school districts by infusing this element of fairness into such circumstances for the benefit of taxpayers across this Commonwealth.

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Introduced as HB1571