The Pennsylvania House Education Committee recently advanced H.B. 530, authored by State Rep. Mike Reese (R-59th), which aims to improve charter and cyber-charter education in Pennsylvania by strengthening school choice and improving the formula used to fund charter and cyber-charter schools.
“Enabling parents to choose quality education options for their children is an important goal here,” Reese said. “But quality education is expensive, and every dollar must be spent wisely and responsibly.”
Specifically, the bill directs charter schools to use an academic performance matrix developed by the Pennsylvania Board of Education. The bill also strives to increase enforcement of current truancy laws and includes language to improve public transparency and auditing requirements.
Charter schools meeting these objectives will have extended charter periods.
The bill also looks to address an ongoing problem with the funding formula for cyber charter schools by allowing school districts to deduct food service costs and cyber education expenses from the previous year from their per-pupil expense paid to cyber charter schools.
“The funding of cyber education has become a significant expense for local school districts,” Reese added. “But the funding formula is inherently flawed and lacks critical oversight. We have to make this a priority.”
The bill now moves to the House floor.
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