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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 27, 2023 02:23 PM
From: Representative Tarah Probst
To: All House members
Subject: Ensuring Accurate Special Education Payments to Charter Schools
The system of funding special education services for charter and cyber charter school students is broken. Currently, special education payments from school districts to charter schools are calculated based on an assumption that each school district has a student population that requires special education services of 16 percent. Not only does this inaccurately represent the real student population needing these services, but it also does not take into account what it actually costs a charter school to educate students with disabilities. This results in school districts making overinflated tuition payments to charter schools for special education students, which negatively impacts their already strained budgets. This ultimately hurts students, especially students with disabilities given that school districts are most often responsible for educating students in need of the most extensive special education services and supports.

We must take action now to hold charter and cyber charter schools accountable and ensure that school districts are no longer overpaying them. That is why I am introducing two bills that will address this issue in different ways. 

At the end of the day, these are taxpayer dollars that need to be more fairly allocated to ensure that our education system serves all students in Pennsylvania. I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring these important bills that will prioritize the education of students with disabilities over surplus charter school budgets.


Document #1

Introduced as HB722

Description: My first bill will end the current method of calculating tuition payments for charter school special education and implement the three-tiered system that will determine the tuition rate based on the cost of services needed by the student. This proposal was originally made by the Special Education Funding Commission and has already been implemented for special education payments to school districts, so this legislation would ensure parity between our school districts and charter schools.

Document #2

Introduced as HB723

Description: My second bill will require charter and cyber charter schools to invoice school districts for actual special education services provided to students by the charter school as opposed to the current method of calculating these tuition payments. These bills will end this cycle of school districts overpaying charter and cyber charter schools for special education services and ensure that all students with disabilities in Pennsylvania can receive a quality education that meets their needs.