• Resolution Supporting Statewide Cyber Charter School Funding Reform
    By the Board of Directors of the West Chester Area School District 

    WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is the sole authorizer of cyber charter schools, yet almost all of the costs for cyber charter schools are borne by school districts and local taxpayers, and the current funding formula for cyber charter schools is based on school district expenditures with no relationship to the actual instructional costs of the students attending the charter school; and
    WHEREAS, the current cyber charter school funding formula for special education differs from the formula used to calculate school district special education subsidies and is not based on the actual costs of the cyber charter school to meet the needs of their students with disabilities; and the current flawed calculation requires school districts to pay charter schools regardless of the costs of services provided, resulting in the overpayment of district funds to charter schools for special education students;  and
    WHEREAS, the average tuition rate in Pennsylvania for non-special education was $11,308; and
    WHEREAS, the average tuition rate for special education student made by a district was $926,000 with the average tuition rate for a non-special education student $11,309; and
    WHEREAS, the average tuition rate for special education students attending cyber charter schools was $24,200 per student and more than 390 school districts in Pennsylvania were forced to pay more than $20,000 per students for special education students attending cyber charter schools; and
    WHEREAS, the 2018-19 tuition rates for cyber charter schools in the West Chester Area School District was $12,620 for a regular education student and $29,565 for a special education student; and
    WHEREAS, the West Chester Area School District's cyber charter school expenditures for the 2018-19 school year for 168 students was $2,679,345 and was encumbered as follows:

    Students

     

    Tuition rate per student

     

    Total

    135 regular education

     

    $12,620

     

    $1,703,700

    33 special education

     

    $29,565

     

    $  975,645

      168 total students

     

     

     

    $2,679,345

    WHEREAS, 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; and
    WHEREAS, the Chester County Intermediate Unit rates would save West Chester Area School District taxpayers an estimated $1,735,845; and
    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, this 24th day of June, 2019 by the Board of School Directors of the West Chester Area School District, that:

    1. West Chester Area School Board urges its elected officials to support legislation that corrects the tuition for the regular and special education to cyber charter schools so that it is based on the actual costs of educating their students and relives the financial burden on school districts and taxpayers.

    2. West Chester Area School Board urges its elected officials to support House Bill 526 and Senate Bill 34 which would require parents to enroll children in a cyber-school run by their local school district if a district operated a cyber-school.

    ATTEST:

     

     

    WEST CHESTER AREA SCHOOL BOARD

       

     

     
       

    By:

     

    Secretary

     

    President