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11/27/2020 10:01 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20190&cosponId=31109
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 3, 2020 11:24 AM
From: Senator Lindsey M. Williams and Sen. James R. Brewster
To: All Senate members
Subject: Comprehensive Charter School Law Reform
 
In the near future, we will be introducing a comprehensive Charter School Law reform bill to address the growing concerns of our communities surrounding transparency, performance and outcomes, and funding for all charter schools in accordance with the Governor’s charter reform proposal announced last fall.

When Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law was established in 1997, it was the General Assembly’s hope that through greater flexibility and choice, charter schools could improve learning opportunities and outcomes throughout the Commonwealth by introducing new and innovative teaching methods to our traditional public schools.

However, throughout the years since the Charter School Law’s adoption, spotty academic performance, ethical and financial transgressions, and rising costs to Pennsylvania taxpayers have called into question whether charter schools are improving the quality of public school education in the Commonwealth. After 23 years, it’s time for the General Assembly to update and reform the Law to improve the quality of the education charter schools provide and their ethical and financial performance.

Focusing on transparency, performance and outcomes, and funding, this legislation will, among other amendments, ensure board of trustee members are held to the same financial and ethical standards as school board members and district officials, establish a statewide performance matrix, and institute a statewide cyber charter tuition rate, as well as apply the special education funding formula to charter school tuition payments.

As legislators, it’s our responsibility to enact education policies that will ensure every student receives a quality education, regardless of what school they choose. Please join us in moving our Charter School Law forward by co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ardie Griffin at 717-783-7313.

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