The PA House is moving charter school legislation today that would make PA’s charter school law even WORSE than it already is.
HB 530 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is NOT a genuine effort to improve the quality of education children in the Commonwealth receive, but instead, a massive giveaway to charter schools that would damage school districts throughout the Commonwealth and undermine the quality of education children in all schools receive.
HB 530 would strip control from local communities that pay charter school tuition bills and allow for the unfettered expansion of charter schools without any fiscal or quality controls.
- HB 530 lifts charter school enrollment caps, allows charter schools to join together into a “multiple charter organization” and then expand grade levels and open new schools without school board approval, and it encourages charter growth through provisions that allow charters with caps to enroll students from outside the district in which they are authorized and operate, creating new costs for districts that did not ever authorize a charter school.
HB 530 would make charter schools even LESS accountable than they are now!
- HB 530 would create a separate evaluation system for charter and cyber charter schools and school districts would not be allowed to use ANY criteria other than the language in this bill to authorize or assess a new charter school.
- HB 530 stacks the statewide Charter Appeal Board in favor of charters by including two additional charter school members.
HB 530 does not adequately address education quality or lay the foundation for quality public schools in every community in PA.
- Cyber charters (which have a very significant impact on the finances of school districts throughout the Commonwealth) continue to perform poorly, but HB 530 didn’t create a cyber charter quality task force or a commission to study student outcomes in cybers. Taxpayers need to understand more about how these public cyber schools are funded and how well they’re serving students. That would not happen under HB 530.
- HB 530 contains provisions that allow for all of this new charter school expansion, but does not contain any language that would ensure that new charter schools would provide students with a quality education.
HB 530 would siphon even more money away from our local public schools without correcting any of the many, well-documented flaws in the current charter school law. Lawmakers MUST oppose this legislation.