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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 10, 2021 02:22 PM
From: Senator Robert M. Tomlinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: Student Driven Charter Funding Reform
Please join me in sponsoring a package of pro-student bills aimed at addressing the inequity of special education funding between school districts and charter and cyber charter schools. These proposals are fair, common sense approaches that do not penalize or arbitrarily determine funding, but instead use data and well documented principles to support all public students no matter where they attend school.

Document #1

Introduced as SB540

Description: The first proposal implements the Special Education Funding Commission’s recommendation to apply the same funding principles used in the formula for school districts to determine a school district’s payment for a special education student enrolled in a charter or cyber charter school. In most cases, the charter or cyber charter school special education tuition rate is far in excess of the actual special education costs the charter or cyber charter school spends to educate individual students. This change more closely represents the actual cost of special education services and applies the rule across the board with a gradual phase in.

Document #2

Introduced as SB542

Description: The second proposal removes the across the board assumption of a 16% special education population rate per school district to using the school district’s actual percentage of special education population. These payments should reflect the methodology of the actual students served and not an arbitrary assumption that does not reflect the make-up of the school district, the charter or the cyber charter school.