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Friday, February 14, 2014

legislative news concerning charter and cyber charter schools

Last September, a bipartisan vote passed House Bill 618, which addresses the investment in charter school education as well as the double dip on pensions that currently benefits cyber charter schools. We urge our Senate colleagues to take up this legislation and send it to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk for his signature. 

House Bill 618 would create a matrix to measure and assess the academic performance of charter and cyber charter schools and require all initial and renewal charter and cyber charter school applicants to establish a teacher evaluation system. As an incentive to achieving those academic benchmarks, House Bill 618 would offer high-performing schools a 10-year renewal term on top of their initial term of five years. 

Under this legislation, a balanced, bipartisan Charter School Funding Advisory Commission would be created to address inequities in the formula that determine funding for charter and cyber charter schools and make appropriate recommendations to the General Assembly and the governor by March 30, 2014. The commission, which is comprised of parents, teachers, administrators and legislators, would meet with stakeholders and examine the true cost of educating a child in a cyber charter school setting. 

House Bill 618 would facilitate direct payment to charter and cyber charter schools from the Department of Education, with appropriate documentation of student enrollment and residency.