Friday, February 4, 2011

Pennsylvania schools could lose $1 billion/ School Board Members' Focus Shifting, Survey Says/ Time to update the laws governing Pa. charters

Pennsylvania schools could lose $1 billion
Published: Thursday, February 03, 2011, 10:43 PM
Less than three weeks after taking office, Gov. Tom Corbett is swinging the budget axe at public schools. 
Schools may lose up $1 billion in state aid in the coming school year, setting up one of three scenarios. 
Put another way, it sets state basic-education funding levels back to about where they were five years ago.

Education Week

School Board Members' Focus Shifting, Survey Says

By Christina A. Samuels,  February 3, 2011
The results of a nationwide survey of school board members show a shift in focus toward student achievement and away from the nitty-gritty district management issues known as the “killer B’s:” buses, buildings, books, budgets, bonds, and similar issues.
But today’s school board members appear not to be as interested in issues many policy observers deem to be on the cutting edge of school reform. They consider charter schools, performance pay for teachers, and year-round school not as important to student achievement as strong leadership and professional development, according to the survey results.

The Philadelphia Inquirer  3 Feb 2011

Time to update the laws governing Pa. charters

OP/ED State Sen. Jeffrey E. Piccola Chairman, Senate Education Committee

Here’s a related archived posting that we might want to take into account when updating the charter school law:
Pennsylvania Freedom of Information Coalition
Charter school appeals to block release of records
June 11, 2009 By Dan Hardy Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
The Chester Community Charter School has filed a court appeal to a recent Pennsylvania Office of Open Records ruling that gave The Inquirer access to a wide range of financial records from the management company that operates the school.
The Delaware County school, the state's largest charter, and Charter School Management Inc., a private, for-profit management company, have repeatedly denied requests by the newspaper for details about how millions of dollars in public money were spent and how much the company and its owner, Vahan H. Gureghian, were making.
Because Charter School Management Inc. is a private business that hires all school employees and manages the school's finances, it has been able to keep many aspects of its financial operations secret, in contrast to most charters, which have to disclose more information in nonprofit reports. 

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