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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 10, 2021 09:25 AM
From: Representative Pam Snyder and Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro
To: All House members
Subject: School District Cyber Education Programs
As COVID-19 has shown us, schools must be adaptable to the increase in online learning. With this practical knowledge in distance education, our public schools are more likely to have the experience and infrastructure necessary to be able to offer online options for education – and to continue these offerings for students who prefer online education. Cyber charter schools have increasingly drawn funds away from school districts, even though school districts now offer similar education. Indeed, the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials estimates that our school districts are likely to see payments to cyber charter schools rise by $350 million this school year alone.
To address this situation, my legislation would prevent the unnecessary duplication of taxpayer funded cyber education. If a student lives in a school district without a cyber program and that student wants to attend a cyber charter school, they would still be able to do so, tuition-free, just as under current law. For students whose district of residence offers a cyber education program, they would be able to choose what program to participate in, their district cyber education program or a cyber charter school. The district cyber education program would remain tuition-free. However, if a student chooses to attend a cyber charter school even though an equivalent cyber program already exists at their local level, they would be required to pay tuition under that limited circumstance.
As property owners and taxpayers across this state know, spending on education is expensive for our communities. So it is crucial for us to ensure that this money is used wisely and effectively. This legislation is important to prevent school districts from having to pay a second time for programs they already offer, which will allow them to conserve taxpayer dollars. 
As we begin to move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, please join me in ensuring that the taxpayer investments we have put into online learning are used appropriately and fairly by co-sponsoring this legislation.  

Introduced as HB1074