Saturday, October 22, 2016

PA Ed Policy Roundup Oct 22: #HB530 slated to run on Monday; Charter expansion bill is all tricks, no treats for PA taxpayers

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Keystone State Education Coalition
PA Ed Policy Roundup October 22, 2016
#HB530 slated to run on Monday; Charter expansion bill is all tricks, no treats for PA  taxpayers

Legislative Alert – Please Call Your Legislators Today Asking Them to Oppose HB530, the Charter School Expansion Bill slated to run on Monday
Please ask your colleagues to do the same.  Bill could be fast-tracked and run through the legislature in as little as 48 hours.
House Members Contact info:
Senate Members Contact info:
Pennsylvania has the worst charter school law in the country and it is long overdue for renewal, especially to address fraud, waste and abuse and a total lack of transparency by charter management companies.  HB530 does absolutely nothing to address those concerns.  It would allow for unregulated expansion of charter schools with less accountability for taxpayer dollars while also diluting existing authorizer oversight
Don't be fooled by House Bill 530, so called charter reform legislation.  The legislation could be considered by the House Rules committee at any time and shortly afterward receive a vote by the entire house. We need to stop this bill by educating representatives on its numerous sections that remove accountability and oversight of charter schools.   Click here for a full explanation of the bill and an action alert you can send.

Charter expansion bill #HB530 is all tricks, no treats for Pennsylvania taxpayers
The notebook Commentary by Lawrence A. Feinberg October 21, 2016 — 11:47am
Halloween is just around the corner, but there is something far scarier in the halls of the Pennsylvania State Capitol than any zombie that comes knocking on your door. While private charter operators could potentially get a big treat in the form of House Bill 530, the rest of us will be holding a bag full of tricks. And sadly, the ones who will suffer are our kids.
With only a few days left on the legislative calendar, lawmakers are trying to push through charter expansion with HB 530. Those in favor are dressing it up in the best costume they have and passing it off as charter school reform. It is anything but. The state’s most recent School Performance Profile scores show that only 22 percent of charters achieved a score of 70 or higher, the level that state education officials view as acceptable. So why are legislators so quick to allow unchecked expansion of these schools, wasting of tax dollars?
There are many good charter schools out there. They serve as a valuable piece of the education puzzle in our state. But the lack of accountability and transparency is something that taxpayers should not tolerate.

The Truth About Pennsylvania’s House Bill 530
PSBA Video Published on Oct 21, 2016 Runtime 2:!4
The Pennsylvania legislature is considering House Bill 530 which is being labeled by some as a “charter school reform” bill. This video takes a deeper dive at the impact and implications of the legislation.

House Bill 530 is Not Charter School Reform
Let’s stop pretending — The need for meaningful charter school reform is urgent, but that reform is NOT contained in House Bill 530.
PSBA Website October 10, 2016
House Bill 530 is not a genuine effort to improve the quality of education that our children receive, and it does little to provide real change in the way charter schools are operated, funded or held accountable. Instead, it enables the expansion of charter schools with less accountability and oversight, and actually dilutes existing powers of oversight. Language purported to set tighter rules for financial transparency and accountability contains provisions that are already required.  House Bill 530 simply perpetuates and expands the system of privatized public schools. Here’s why:

Interested in letting our elected leadership know your thoughts on HB530 Charter Expansion bill?
Governor Tom Wolf, (717) 787-2500
Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Turzai, (717) 772-9943
House Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed, (717) 705-7173
Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Joe Scarnati, (717) 787-7084
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Jake Corman, (717) 787-1377

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