Misrepresentation: On Feb. 2, 2020, the Chester County Daily Local News, reported, “more than 30 superintendents from districts in five counties across the greater Philadelphia region stood together at a press conference in Eagleville, Montgomery County… Superintendents cited inequities in special education costs: A special education program within a school district costs about $7,000 per pupil for the school district to provide. Compared to $24,192 per pupil the district pays to a charter school, according to June 2018 records from the Pennsylvania Association of Superintendents.” (p. A9 – Editorial)
Truth: When a family chooses to attend a Pennsylvania Public Charter School, that School receives only 80% of the money that was spent on them in their home district. For Special Education students, According to the Pennsylvania Charter School law, the average that a school district spends extra on all Special Education students from the “prior school year” shall be sent to the respective Pennsylvania Charter School. Each school district determines their Special Education expenditures and reports that number to the Charter School and to the PA Department of Education. If, “a special education program within a school district costs about $7,000”, this then would be the exact amount that would be sent to the Charter School the following year. Because local school districts establish the total amount paid, to suggest that Charter Schools are receiving an additional $17,192 per Special Education student is a gross misrepresentation.
1725-A (a) (3) For special education students, the charter school shall receive for each student enrolled the same funding as for each non-special education student as provided in clause (2), plus an additional amount determined by dividing the district of residence’s total special education expenditure by the product of multiplying the combined percentage of section 2509.5(k) times the district of residence’s total average daily membership for the prior school year. This amount shall be paid by the district of residence of each student.
By: Dr. James Hanak, CEO, PA Leadership (cyber) Charter School