Tell your legislator to vote "No" on House Biill 97. Here are some of the reasons why -
“Balancing the charter appeal board. – This is the group that can certify or override the decision of the local district. HB 97 would like to "balance" this group by adding more charter people, including switching the parent seat to a parent of a charter student seat. The resulting board would be far more charter-friendly. This would be the group that could tell taxpayers in your district that they are going to help support a charter school even though they and their duly-elected school board rejected it.”
PA HB97: Charter Reform Sort of Revisited
Curmuducation Blog by Peter Greene Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Pennsylvania charter law is rather a mess. In April of 2016, State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale issued a blistering report, dubbing PA charter law the "worst in the nation." There have been occasional legislative attempts to address the issue, but these bills have often confused "reform" with "give charters more freedom and opportunities to suck up public tax dollars." Harrisburg has a history of using charter reform as a fig leaf to cover up charter giveaways. Early egregious attempts included a bill that would have taken a swipe at cyberschool funding but also would have made all sorts of folks authorizers of charter schools, making it infinitely easier to launch one in PA. There was an attempt to fix things, sort of, back in 2015-2016 with proposed HB 530, a bill that public school organizations like the school board association declared a non-starter because it loosened accountability on charters, allowed the state charter appeal board to overrule local districts, and didn't address the out-of-control costs of charters in Pennsylvania. The reasons to oppose the bill were many. The bill passed both the house and senate, but was ultimately a victim of the Great Budget Snafu of 2016 and was last seen disappearing into the rules committee in June of 2016. Now it's back.
Keystone State Education Coalition
HB97: Fast-tracked latest version of PA Charter Reform legislation still would facilitate authorization and expansion of charters without sufficient oversight/approval by locally elected school boards representing the taxpayers who pay for these privately managed schools
The Erie School District still will have five community schools in the fall, though two of them will most likely be in different locations. The changes will be due to what appears to be the inevitable closings of Emerson-Gridley and Wayne elementary schools as part of the district’s reconfiguration plan. The community schools programs, launched in 2016, is designed to bring social services like health and dental care and after-school programming into school buildings to make them directly accessible to students from high-poverty households. The five community school directors have been in place since January. The Erie School District’s three other community schools are Edison, Pfeiffer-Burleigh and McKinley. The community schools will continue there in 2017-18, and the district will move the other two community schools to different locations if Emerson-Gridley and Wayne close, said Daria Devlin, the district’s spokeswoman and coordinator of grants. “We are still committed to five community schools in the fall,” she said.
Should taxpayer dollars fund private education?
Kevin Welner, Professor, Education Policy & Law; Director, National Education Policy Center, University of Colorado April 14, 2017 9.56am EDT\
FEATURING DIANE RAVITCH – The march toward school privatization is expected to escalate under Donald Trump’s new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. DeVos is a believer in religious education and charter schools, and has promised to “expand school choice,” which is code for privatization. So far however, her biggest action has been to undo the consumer protections that President Obama put in place to for student borrowers. As members of Congress go into recess to interact with their constituents activists who want to preserve and strengthen public education are taking their fight to town hall meetings.
Find more at www.networkforpubliceducation.org and www.dianeravitch.net.
Teachers unions and others are attacking charter supporters in California, New York and New Jersey for doing the administration's 'dirty work.'
Politico By DAVID SIDERS 04/16/17 03:16 PM EDT
— Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), Senate Appropriations Committee chair
- Monday, May 1, 6-8 p.m. — Parkway West CTC, 7101 Steubenville Pike, Oakdale, PA 15071
- Tuesday, May 2, 7:30-9 a.m. — A W Beattie Career Center, 9600 Babcock Blvd, Allison Park, PA 15101
- Tuesday, May 2, 6-8 p.m. — Crawford County CTC, 860 Thurston Road, Meadville, PA 16335
- Wednesday, May 3, 6-8 p.m. — St. Marys Area School District, 977 S. St Marys Road, Saint Marys, PA 15857
- Thursday, May 4, 6-8 p.m. — Central Montco Technical High School, 821 Plymouth Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
- Friday, May 5, 7:30-9 a.m. — Lehigh Carbon Community College, 4525 Education Park Dr, Schnecksville, PA 18078
- Monday, May 15, 6-8 p.m. — CTC of Lackawanna Co., 3201 Rockwell Avenue, Scranton, PA 18508
- Tuesday, May 16, 6-8 p.m. — PSBA, 400 Bent Creek Boulevard, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
- Wednesday, May 17, 6-8 p.m. — Lycoming CTC, 293 Cemetery Street, Hughesville, PA 17737
- Thursday, May 18, 6-8 p.m. — Chestnut Ridge SD, 3281 Valley Road, Fishertown, PA 15539