Gov. Wolf’s Vow to Restructure Charter School Sector Could Benefit School Districts Like Chester-Upland

Image via the West Chester Area School District.

Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to restructure Pennsylvania’s charter school sector, a move that could end up benefitting the Chester-Upland School District in the long run, writes Valerie Strauss for The Washington Post.

Three years ago, the state’s auditor general referred to the state charter law as the worst in the nation.

Charter schools are publicly funded, but they operate outside of the public school districts where they are located. And although they have to be set up as nonprofits, charter schools can also be run by for-profit organizations.

In Pennsylvania, school districts pay charter schools, both brick-and-mortar and cyber, a per-pupil tuition from their taxpayer levy. This is not based on each school’s teaching costs, but on how much the district pays to educate its students.

Chester-Upland, for example, paid $9,948.21 in per student charter school general education tuition for 2018-19  and $42,247 for special education.

Now, Education Voters of Pennsylvania has recommended setting cyber charter tuition at $5,000 for general education students and $8,865 for students with special needs.

Read more about Pennsylvania’s charter schools in The Washington Post here.

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