The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee is traveling across the state this week to host 3 hearings on education.
The committee stopped by Westmont Hilltop Highschool
Where as McKenzie Jarrell reports regional school board members and officials discussed charter school reform.
“What I’ve taken from this is that, the time for change is long past.”
Superintendents from across Cambria County met and brought with them some of their concerns with charter schools and cyber charter schools.
“So I think it gave the school superintendents and some school board members the oppurtunity to bring this issue to light because they’re the ones that have to raise property taxes.”
Concerns about teacher shortages and special education were also raised, but the focus remained mostly on school districts feeling stretched thin due to them having to foot the bill for cyber and charter schools.
“There’s room for charter schools. Theres room for cyber schools. It’s just the funding formula needs to be corrected because right now it’s not fair to the taxpayers and it’s not fair to the school districts.”
Dr. Amy Arcurio from the Greater Johnstown School District mentioned losing money in her school district due to paying the tuition for students in the district that choose to attend cyber or charter schools. She says her school is
underfunded by $14 million dollars.
“It can’t be just blank checks out to the cyber schools.”
“I think the legislature needs to take its time and come up with what does it actually cost to teach a kid in cyber school and that’s what the state is gonna pay. That’s it, nothing more nothing less.”
Burns says Govenor Wolf has proposed a bipartisan charter school accountability plan to protect not only sudents, but taxpayers.
“This allowed them to explain to the public what is happening behind the scenes that is causing the need for property tax increases. And as you can see, the testimony clearly stated, that there’s an increase in funding that they have to give out to these cyber schools.”