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Pennsylvania Auditor General Targets ‘Excessive’ Charter School Spending

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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - Auditor General Jack Wagner says Pennsylvania charter schools are spending a million dollars a day more than necessary.

Auditor General Jack Wagner has criticized the funding formula for charter schools in the past, but now in a special report, he’s quantified the savings he believes could result if Pennsylvania adopted formulas similar to those used in other states.

“We believe very strongly there is an absolute savings to the taxpayers of Pennsylvania of $365 million a year.”

The auditor general’s special report also found that Pennsylvania spends the most per student of the five states with the largest number of students in independently operated charter and cyber charter schools, spending $2,000 dollars more than the next highest-spending state on that list.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools said the group had not yet reviewed Wagner’s data but would support legislation to create a commission that would study charter school funding.