Pennsylvania taxpayers now spend more than $1.4 billion on charter and cyber charter school tuition bills annually in addition to funding all of the state’s traditional public schools. The current “rob from public school Peter to pay charter school Paul” system drains money from traditional public schools, forcing districts to cut programs and services for the students who remain. In 2011 the charter reimbursement: line was eliminated from the state budget. It used to provide state funding to districts for the costs and financial exposure resulting from the addition of charter schools.
Post Gazette By Angela Couloumbis / Harrisburg Bureau July 9, 2016 12:00 AM
Times Tribune BY ROBERT SWIFT / PUBLISHED: JULY 10, 2016
The new superintendent, Anthony Hamlet, should build on data-proven initiatives to improve student performance
Post Gazette Letter By John Engberg July 10, 2016 12:00 AM
…“It’s like Groundhog Day until the state finally has the courage to address the problem and do what it needs to do.” The Palisades School District’s 2016-17 spending plan illustrates Stepanoff’s point. The Upper Bucks district is increasing spending $321,723 next year, or 0.76 percent. But retirement costs are going up $800,000, meaning the district has essentially cut nearly $500,000 from its previous budget.”
Most Bucks, Montgomery taxpayers will dig deeper to fund school budgets
Intelligencer By Gary Weckselblatt, staff writer Posted: Sunday, July 10, 2016 5:30 am
Budgets passed in June by school boards in all of Bucks and parts of Montgomery County will spend more than $2.5 billion in 2016-17. Many of the local boards followed Act 1, the state’s property tax law, and raised the levy by the allowable 2.4 percent — some went higher, some lower — but the result is approximately $60 million more coming out of the pockets of area property owners. “The Act 1 index favors school districts and not taxpayers,” said Paul Stepanoff, president of the Quakertown Community school board. “It’s supposed to be an inflationary increase, but it’s about twice the rate of inflation and will continue to be. Even when school boards discipline themselves and act within Act 1, it’s still hurting the taxpayer.”
Merlyn Clarke is a member of the Stroudsburg Area School District board.