Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Charter Reform Sort of Revisited

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Charter Reform Sort of Revisited:

PA: Charter Reform Sort of Revisited
Pennsylvania charter law is rather a mess. In April of 2016,  State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale issued a blistering report, dubbing PA charter law the "worst in the nation." There have been occasional legislative attempts to address the issue, but these bills have often confused "reform" with "give charters more freedom and opportunities to suck up public tax dollars."


Harrisburg has a history of using charter reform as a fig leaf to cover up charter giveaways. Early egregious attempts included a bill that would have taken a swipe at cyberschool funding but also would have made all sorts of folks authorizers of charter schools, making it infinitely easier to launch one in PA. There was an attempt to fix things, sort of,  back in 2015-2016 with proposed HB 530, a bill that public school organizations like the school board association declared a non-starter because it loosened accountability on charters, allowed the state charter appeal board to overrule local districts, and didn't address the out-of-control costs of charters in Pennsylvania. The reasons to oppose the bill were many. The bill passed both the house and senate, but was ultimately a victim of the Great Budget Snafu of 2016 and was last seen disappearing into the rules committee in June of 2016

Now it's back.

Representative Mike Reese has revamped HB 530 into HB 97. Reese represents District 59 and has an actual BS in Education, though he went on for an MBA.

Here's his version of what HB 97 does. Highlights include:
CURMUDGUCATION: PA: Charter Reform Sort of Revisited:

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