• May 31, 2019

    Dear Representative/Senator NAME,

    I am writing to ask for your support of HB 526 and the companion bill, SB 34.  This legislation will save millions of dollars for some school districts that make tuition payments for their students to attend cyber charter schools that they never authorized.

    The West Chester Area School District tuition rate for cyber-charter school students for the 2018-19 school year was $12,620 for a regular education student and $29,565 for a special education student.  With 168 students attending cyber charter schools this year, the district spent $2,679,345.

    Students

    Tuition rate per student
    (Current Cyber Charter)

    Total




    135 regular education

    $12,620

    $1,703,700




      33 special education

    $29,565

    $975,645




    168 total students

     

    $2,679,345

    The Chester County Intermediate Unit calculated an average tuition cost for a regular education cyber-school student to be $5,400 and special education student to be $6,500.  We believe we can offer a cyber-program for students to earn a West Chester diploma, have access to West Chester services such as counseling, mental health, and extracurricular activities and clubs, and save our taxpayers $1,735,845.

    Here is the new calculated expenses using the costs we estimate to run a cyber-school diploma program:

    Students

    Tuition rate per student
    (Current Cyber Charter)

    Total




    135 regular education

    $5,400

    $729,000




      33 special education

    $6,500

    $214,500




    168 total students

     

    $943,500

    Again, the savings are an estimated $1,735,845 to educate the same number of students.  I would also argue that these students would receive a better educational experience than they are receiving in the cyber-charter schools.

    HB 526 and SB 34 would require parents to pay for their child’s education in a cyber-charter school if the school district of residence offers its own full-time cyber education program. These bills will provide financial relief to school districts.  I ask that you support these bills and do whatever is necessary to move them to the full House and Senate for a vote.

    Sincerely,

    James R. Scanlon, EdD
    Superintendent