Penn House passes charter school reform

House Bill 530 calls for changing how charter schools operate.
House Bill 530 calls for changing how charter schools operate.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 530 this week, which would reform how charter and cyber charter schools operate in the state.

Under the bill, the Pennsylvania Board of Education would develop an academic performance matrix for charter schools. Teacher evaluations also would be conducted similar to traditional public schools.

The measure, which passed the House by a vote of 118-78, also calls for improved enforcement of state truancy laws for students. It also would allow schools meeting academic benchmarks to receive extended charter terms. Language is also included to help improve auditing requirements and public transparency of charter schools.

The funding formula for cyber charter schools would also be amended to fix a long-standing problem. Under the proposal, public school districts would be permitted to deduct cyber education expenses and food service costs incurred over the previous year from the per-pupil expenses paid to cyber charter schools. The change is expected to save all school districts in the state approximately $27 million a year.

As part of the legislation, a charter school advisory commission would be created to work on identifying any other improvements needed with charter schools. Members of the commission would include legislators from the state's House and Senate, and educational professionals from both charter entities and school districts.

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Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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