This week, parents, students, and advocates rallied together at the Pennsylvania state Capitol urging lawmakers to pass a proposal that would expand the state’s public charter schools, along with new standards for accountability and reporting.
Charter school legislation almost passed earlier this year, but stalled out.
According to Education Week, “The legislation being discussed appears to be in flux. A recent iteration would establish an independent statewide authorizer of the schools—as opposed to charters having to seek approval from local districts. A number of states have statewide authorizers, though the issue has also proved controversial in some places, such as Georgia, where a proposal to re-establish a statewide charter entity is the subject of a public referendum this fall. The Pennsylvania legislation would also allow for public funding to flow more directly from the state to charters schools. Additionally, the legislation would allow create a mechanism through which a regular public school could be converted to a charter school through a majority vote of parents and teachers—though that provision has been a major hang-up for the legislation to date.”
The proposed legislation would also set up new requirements for performance, financial accountability, and transparency within public charters. A decision is expected soon as Pennsylvania state lawmakers are looking to complete their session before November.
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