Charter and Cyber Charter School Reform

The charter school reform continues to be a topic of debate and interest in the legislature, and a comprehensive charter school reform proposal was included in drafts of the omnibus School Code bill that almost made it through the legislature in late 2015.  Some of the highlights of the charter school reform portion of the proposed School Code bill are as follows:
 

  • Creates a charter school funding advisory commission to review the current calculation; advisory committee will include 2 PASBO members.
  • Modifies cyber charter tuition for 2015-16 by changing the calculation to the lesser of either: the current tuition rate (however, it requires the deduction of 7.5% of operation and maintenance of plant services costs) OR the 90th percentile of all the current rate for all school districts. For special education, the addition is the lesser of the school district’s add-on or the 90th percentile of the increase for all school districts. This is expected to save $15 million.
  • Modifies the cyber Modifies cyber charter tuition for 2016-17 by changing the calculation to the lesser of either: the current tuition rate (however, it requires the deduction of 45% of operation and maintenance of plant services costs) OR the 70th percentile of all the current rate for all school districts. For special education, the addition is the lesser of the school district’s add-on or the 70th percentile of the increase for all school districts. This is expected to save $50 million.
  • Direct pay for all cyber charters beginning in 2016-17
  • Charter school unassigned fund balance caps of 12-16% of total budgeted expenditures
  • Accountability and transparency requirements for charter schools
  • Extension of charter term to 10 years if the charter meets the academic benchmarks set forth in a performance matrix
  • Adds 2 charter school members and 1 school district member to the Charter Appeal Board
  • Allows charters to form multiple charter organizations
  • Gives charter schools the right of first refusal to purchase or lease school district facilities
  • Requires schools to permit cyber charter students to test in their facilities when it will not cause undue interference


Additional Information on Charter School Reform
View a Summary of Senate Bill 6 - 5/8/15
Read the Auditor General Report on Charter Schools -5/12/14
Read PASBO, PASA, PARSS, PSBA and PSEA's joint letter on Senate Bill 1085 -3/31/14
Read PASBO, PASA, PARSS and PSBA's joint letter on Charter School Reform -1/13/14
View PASBO's estimated pension double dip savings -11/19/13
Read PASBO, PASA, PARSS and PSBA's joint letter on House Bill 618 -6/19/13
Read PASBO's Testimony on House Bill 618 (George Ioannidis) -3/14/13
Read PASBO's Testimony on House Bill 618 (Jay Himes) -3/14/13
View Auditor General Report on Charter School Funding Reform -6/20/12
Read PASBO, PASA, PARSS, PSBA and PLUS's joint letter on the pension double dip -6/15/12
Read PASBO Testimony on Charter School Reform -9/2/11
Read PASBO Statement on Introduction of Charter School Bills -6/13/11
Read PASBO Statement on Charter School Funding Reform -6/13/11
Read PASBO's Testimony on Charter School Reform -3/13/09