Pennsylvania House Speaker Wants More Philly Charter Students

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The speaker of the state House is sponsoring legislation that would require the Philadelphia School District to expand the number of available charter school seats.

The bill sponsored by Republican Mike Turzai, the House speaker, would require the Philadelphia School District to add a minimum of 3,000 charter school seats per year for the next five years. But the school district’s five-year financial plan already anticipates charter school enrollment growth of 2,700 to 3,000 seats per year.

“Legislation is necessary to ensure that parents have that choice, and that kids are not stuck in a failing school just because of their address,” said Steve Miskin, a spokesman for the speaker. “Kids and the parents need their choices.”

A spokesman for the school district, while declaring that the district does not have a position on the bill, says nonetheless the measure does not address the issue of quality charter seats, noting that just adding seats does not ensure quality.

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