HB 97: Charter reform that is not worth the 20-Year wait
It has been 20 years since the law that established charter schools in PA was enacted. Significant flaws in this charter school law have surfaced over the past two decades and legislators are now making what appears to be a serious effort to change the law. We need lawmakers to get charter school reform right and HB 97, their comprehensive charter school reform legislation, does not do this.
Please call and email your legislators NOW and ask them to oppose HB 97 in its current form.
- HB 97 does not address the $100 million (and growing) windfall charters receive each year from the broken special education funding system.
- HB 97 does nothing to address the continued abysmal academic performance of the state's cyber charter schools -- none of which have met the minimum proficiency standard on the state's school performance profile.
- HB 97 creates a separate system of academic and performance standards for charter schools and charter school teachers. This would prevent taxpayers and parents from knowing if charter academic performance is better or worse than district schools.
- HB 97 limits local school board input on the charter approval process. If approved, local school board would be prohibited from requesting any additional information -- beyond what's in a state-created application form -- from an organization applying to open a charter school in its school district.
HB 97 fails to address critical funding and academic performance issues that must be fixed in order to strengthen PA's system of public education and help ensure that all students receive a quality public education.