Pennsylvania Budget Proposal Puts Charter School Students' Education in Harm's Way
More than 70,000 Pennsylvania students are caught in the crosshairs of two dangerous budget proposals that threaten equal access to public education. Only the more affluent school districts stand to benefit.
Press Release (PressBurner) Feb 05, 2009 - HARRISBURG, PA –More than 70,000 Pennsylvania students are caught in the crosshairs of two dangerous budget proposals that threaten equal access to public education.
The FY 2009 PA Budget proposes to set a statewide charter school tuition rate and alter special education funding. However, unilaterally changing funding formulas without addressing long standing funding inequities which have plagued Pennsylvania charter schools will only punish families who have exercised their right to school choice. The adoption of the proposed funding formulas will send a clear message that this legislature regards charter school students as a lesser class of public school students.
Attempting to solve perceived funding inequality issues by standardizing charter school allotment rates is discriminatory and counterproductive. Only the more affluent school districts stand to realize savings, while cyber charter school students and less affluent districts will bear the fiscal brunt of this ill-conceived policy.
Just as importantly, changes to special education funding without analyzing how student services will be affected is irresponsible. The legislature must first consider the harm to special education students the proposed funding modifications could cause before approving the measure.
"We understand that after ten years some adjustments to the charter school law may be needed, however, such adjustments should not be made at the expense of students," said Lawrence Jones, Jr. President of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools.