By Mike DeNardo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania’s law governing charter schools would see some big changes under a bill that made it through the state House this week.
Under the Republican-backed update to the current law, now nearly two decades old, charter schools would get their funding directly from the state, rather than having money pass through local school districts. The new bill would also form a charter school funding advisory commission and create a system to evaluate charter schools’ academic performance.
“This bill will make commonsense reforms to the charter school law that benefits taxpayers and school districts,” says state representative Stan Saylor (R-York), chair of the state House Education Committee.
The legislation would also add two charter school representatives to the seven-member board that hears appeals from prospective charter operators rejected by local districts.
But state rep. Cherelle Parker (D-Phila.) says that would stack the panel in favor of charter schools.
“This could be financially disastrous for the City of Philadelphia and the School District of Philadelphia,” she tells KYW Newsradio.
A similar House-passed bill failed in the state Senate last session.