Quaker Valley board asks for cap on charter school costs
Quaker Valley leaders say the growing cost of cyber and other charter school tuitions from local school district funds needs to be capped.
Under a resolution adopted last week, board members and administrators are seeking changes to the state's school code that would alter how cyber and charter school tuition is calculated.
“There is significant unfairness in the way that tuition is calculated in the charter and cyber charter school funding formula,” Superintendent Joseph Clapper said. “Lawmakers need to fully address this inequity.”
Two bills that could be considered by the state House of Representatives in June would reduce funding from local school districts.
About $500,000 of Quaker Valley's $42 million budget goes toward charter and cyber-charter school tuition.
“The burden of funding charter and cyber charter schools has shifted to the local taxpayers,” Clapper said. “Meanwhile, unlike local school districts, there is lack of accountability, transparency and local control.”
Charter schools are privately operated but funded by tuition payments from districts.
In the 2008-09 school year, 13 students in the Quaker Valley district attended charter schools, according to district data. That number rose to 29 students for the current school year.
Quaker Valley's overall enrollment is about 1,940.
About 105,056 students across the state attend charter schools, according to the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools.
Since the state Legislature approved charter schools in 1997, 175 have opened. Of those, 16 charter schools are online-based.
Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.