Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More on cybercharter funding and accountability

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1000 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators and members of the press via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

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Outlook bleak for next year's state budget
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
By Laura Olson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HARRISBURG -- The state's budget secretary has outlined a bleak picture for the upcoming fiscal year, projecting during a briefing today that the commonwealth will be searching for at least $750 million in cuts to balance next year's spending plan

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Philadelphia's collaborative school effort wins a grant

By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer, Posted: Wed, Dec. 21, 2011, 3:01 AM

Philadelphia's new education compact among the School District, city, state, and two charter school coalitions has attracted the attention of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which pledged $100,000 in funding and a chance at millions more.

Under the compact, all parties said they would work to set common academic standards and then expand schools that meet them and close those that do not, whether they are charter schools, district schools or something else. The project also is designed to reduce tension between the city's 80 charter schools and the district.


Your tax dollars at work: if you view this Washington Post piece check out the banner ad above it for K12 Inc. – “tuition free individualized learning”

Posted at 02:37 PM ET, 12/20/2011

The stories behind the story of K12 Inc.

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
This post was written by my colleague Emma Brown, and it first appearedon her Post blog, Virginia Schools Insider. Brown co-wrote a November Post story, with Lyndsey Layton, about the growing influence of K12 Inc. of Herndon, the country’s largest provider of full-time public virtual schools.


Charter School Proponents Focus On Accountability In Word If Not In Deed

Huffington Post by Joy Resmovits, First Posted: 12/20/11 09:02 AM ET

The most recent call to close underperforming charter schools came not from a teachers' union or a school district, but from a charter-school trade association.


Real Concerns About Costly Virtual Schools

December 20, 2011 City School Stories Blog

Notes from the Field, Submitted by Frank Murphy on December 20, 2011

The state of Pennsylvania spends a large amount of taxpayers’ money financing the operations of cyber charter schools.  In the 2009- 2010 school year, just four of these virtual schools received more than $231 million from the state’s education budget.  This sum is about eighty percent of the amount of money that the School District of Philadelphia lost in state aid this last budget year.


Cyber Charter Schools Receive Lion’s Share Of School Funds

May 19, 2011 City School Stories Blog

Notes from the Field, Submitted by Frank Murphy, May 19, 2011

In its 2009-2010 School Finance Revenue Report, the Pennsylvania Department of Education included 113 charter schools in its inventory of public revenue-supported institutions.  The total amount of local, state, federal, and other funding received by these schools was listed at $835,424,755.   This averages out to  $7,304, 643 per charter school.

The charter school receiving the smallest share of revenue was Nitney Valley Charter School at $707,684.   The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School took in the largest portion of charter revenue at  $95,331,379.  The next three highest funded charter schools in the state are also cyber schools: Agora Charter School ($55,189,011), Commonwealth Connections Academy Charter School ($42,150,046) and Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School ($39,170,182).

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