By Jim Melwert

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PA (CBS) — A panel in Montgomery County discussed a recent report that takes a look at what effect rising charter school enrollment is having on school districts in the suburb.

The report from Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) questions the cost and performance of suburban charter schools and also the burden they place on traditional public schools.

“Local school systems who don’t have the resources can’t be depended upon to fund a higher level of education,” said board member, and retired Pottstown superintendent, Jeff Sparagana.

Souderton school district superintendent Frank Gallagher says charter payments are about 3.5 percent of his budget.

“Trying to pay that bill now is becoming a real challenge where I may have to cut programs in order to pay for the charter school tuition,” he said.

Republican State Rep Kate Harper says, while the report raises important issues like fixing the funding formula for special education students and for cyber schools, “I thought some of the language was unnecessarily pugnacious and opposed charters as an idea, and I don’t think that gets you anywhere.”