Potential Pennsylvania Charter School Legislation Forthcoming

Charter schools have grown in popularity in recent years. These schools do not have to follow the rigid state standards and are marketed as having the ability to provide students with a “better” education because the curriculum can be adjusted and potentially specialized.

Because of this reputation and the perception of some public schools as failing, thousands of families across the country attempt to send their children to charter schools annually. The overwhelming demand often requires charter schools to hold raffles or lotteries in order to determine which students are able to attend.

In addition to local districts deciding on whether a public charter school is feasible within the boundaries of a district, private entities, such as nonprofit groups or universities, can found charter schools to use the charter schools to more fully prepare students for specific collegiate careers.

While private charter schools are funded from within, the overwhelming majority of the funding for public charter schools comes from public dollars, just like any other public school, which is the reason that districts must approve the implementation of charter schools within the boundaries of the district. However, several pieces of legislation being discussed at a state level could drastically alter the ways charter schools operate and get funding. 

HB 2661, recently introduced by Rep. James Roebuck (D–188th Dist.), would modify the way charter schools receive funding, placing similar limits to reserve funding that public schools have.   

Click here to read the full article by TONY FIORIGLIO published in the Times Herald (Montgomery County) on October 8, 2012.


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