Charter School Funding Bill Could See Vote This Week

HARRISBURG — With Pennsylvania state legislators entering their final scheduled week of voting, a bill looking to reform how charter schools are funded may see the light of day.

Senate Bill 1115, initially sponsored by Sen. Patrick M. Browne (R-16), may be voted on this week.

The bill would create a state authorization board for new charter schools. As it stands now, charter schools must be authorized by a local school board.

Additionally, SB 1115 provides for the possibility of the conversion of existing public schools, wholly or partially, into charter schools if more than 50 percent of the school’s parents and teachers sign a petition. A board of trustees would then be established that would not include the public school’s existing school board.

A “charter schools funding entities committee” will be convened to further study the charter school funding formula, a formula that has been challenged by public schools and some legislators such as Rep. Mike Fleck (R-81).

Fleck sponsored HB 2364 in early June. The bill proposed revisions of what was included in determining charter school funding through school districts as well as publicly-available audits of charter schools.

Click here to read the full article by Frank Otto published in The Mercury (October 14, 2012)

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