Commentary: 'We don't want the state's financial problems thrown on the backs of our kids'
LTE: Persuade legislators to reform school funding
Sen. Jeffrey Piccola is right. The status quo is not working - particularly for the children in poorly funded public schools with closing kindergartens. The status quo of inequitable, declining public school funding leaves
And while legislator pay and pensions have continued to rise, the percentage of state funding for public education has declined - from 55 percent in 1980 to 35 percent today. Legislators who claim they are spending more on education neglect to tell you the actual percentage has dropped - unlike their pensions.
push for cyber and
charter school funding reforms Pennsylvania
Calls for reform reached a roar once the state this year stopped reimbursing traditional districts for a portion of their charter school costs. Critics argue charter and cyber charter schools are not held accountable for the taxpayer dollars they receive and that they should only be paid what it costs them to educate a child.
Bethlehem Area School District pays $8,539 for a regular education student and $16,391 per special education students to charter schools. While Saucon Valley School District pays $11,561 per regular education student and $21,165 per special needs student to cyber and charter schools. On Monday, state Rep. Mike Fleck, R-Huntingdon/Blair/Mifflin, released details of his charter and cyber charter school reform bill (HB 2364). According to Fleck and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, the bill would:
- Mandate year-end audits of cyber charter and charter schools to ensure schools are being paid for their actual education costs and eliminate non-instructional services from tuition payments. Audits would be public.
- Ban charters from using taxpayer dollars on school advertising.
- Remove the so-called pension cost double dip, saving an estimated $510 million by 2016-17. A school district’s retirement costs are not subtracted from its costs allowing a “double dip” for charters since the state reimburses their retirement costs.
- Charters would be paid the actual cost of educating a special needs student based on a year-end audit and reimbursement would be capped at the same level traditional districts receive from the state.
Changing the Classroom: Teachers help lead Faison K-5 into future
Challenging Eli Broad’s school memories
foundation enter the fray to fight “entrenched bureaucracies.”
Your school board is invited to submit proposals for consideration for PSBA’s 2013 Legislative Platform. The association is accepting proposals now until Friday,
Last year, PSBA created a new award to honor the memory of its long-term chief lobbyist, who died unexpectedly. The Timothy M. Allwein Advocacy Award may be presented annually to the individual school director or entire school board to recognize outstanding leadership in legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of public education and students that are consistent with the positions in PSBA's Legislative Platform. The nomination process is now open and applications will be accepted until