eliminate the cuts

November 15, 2013
30,000 Pennsylvania schoolchildren need your help. The State Senate has introduced a bill that would cut funding for Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools by 5%, even though they already receive a mere fraction of what brick-and-mortar public schools do. Cyber schools only get 81% of the per pupil funding a district school does when a student decides to transfer, but the Senate wants to cut it even further.

Pennsylvania’s cyber charter schools have revolutionized education in our state. Even though the Keystone State families value school choice, most brick-and-mortar charter schools are clustered in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. As a result, school choice was inaccessible for years to millions of Pennsylvania children. Cyber schools completely changed this equation. Thanks to their efforts, school choice is accessible today to every Pennsylvania student at the click of a mouse.

Sadly, Senate Bill 1085 would make it much more difficult for cybers to provide Pennsylvania children the educational choice they deserve. That’s why AFP is urging the State Senate to amend the bill and eliminate the cuts.

Granted, S.B. 1085 isn’t all bad news. In fact, the bill has a number of much-needed updates to our state’s messy charter school law. It would save the state millions of dollars by eliminating an unnecessary provision that allows charter school employee’s to pension double dip. S.B. 1085 would also make it easier to establish and operate charter schools. It creates one simplified application, eliminates enrollment caps, and even allows universities to set up their own charters much like other states.

However, these positive benefits for Pennsylvania’s brick-and-mortar charter schools should not come with trade-offs to our state’s equally important cyber schools.

Tell your State Senator to amend S.B. 1085. The educational future of Pennsylvania’s schoolchildren is on the line.
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