– State Reps. Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion), Seth Grove (R-Dover) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York Township) today joined the majority of their House Education Committee colleagues in moving to the full House legislation that would institute changes to the manner in which Pennsylvania’s charter and cyber charter schools conduct business and are evaluated.
“Much has changed since Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law was established in 1997, “said Saylor, majority chairman of the committee. “This bill would bring the way we fund and hold accountable our charter and cyber charter schools into the 21st Century, by incorporating many elements of Pennsylvania’s Public School Code. In short, it is what parents, students and taxpayers deserve.”
House Bill 530
, which is similar to legislation which passed the House last session but stalled in the Senate, would create a Charter School Funding Advisory Commission made up of General Assembly members and school officials from both charter and cyber charter schools. The commission’s duties would include examining all aspects of funding, from the actual costs involved in educating a cyber charter student to comparing the academic performance of a charter school’s students with that of their school district of residence.
“We want to give parents who make this choice with their child’s education a detailed report card that shows how their investment is doing,” Grove added. “A performance matrix will be established using measurements similar to the ones used by our traditional public schools, and each charter and cyber charter school will be required to implement a teacher evaluation system with at least four rating categories of educator performance and multiple measures of student performance.”
House Bill 530 would also result in savings for taxpayers, due to proposed changes in the formula for determining a school district’s per student cyber charter school payment.
“In addition, the bill’s proposed limitations on charter school reserves and prohibition of using excess funds to pay bonuses will mean taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are not being used to abuse the public trust,” Phillips-Hill commented. “Couple all this with performance benchmarks for charter schools to hit and thus improve their terms of renewal, and you have common sense legislation that is long overdue.”
“Education is the most important investment we make, whether it is parents investing in their children or the Commonwealth investing in its future,” added Saylor. “The public dollars we allocate for teaching our students need as many safeguards as we can provide. House Bill 530 must be moved and signed into law as soon as possible, for the people of Pennsylvania. It is 18 years past due.”
Representative Stan Saylor
Representative Seth Grove
Representative Kristin Phillips-Hill
93rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner, 717.260.6443