Action Center



Take Action to Stop Unfair Charter School Costs
Dear Parents, Staff & Community Members of the Coatesville Area School District:

Recently, Governor Wolf proposed his budget for 2021-2022. The details of his proposed budget can be found here. What he has proposed is favorable to the Coatesville Area School District, should this budget be approved. We encourage our families to contact your local legislators to explain how important fair funding is to our district, and public schools in general. To view Governor Wolf discuss his budget, please click here.
 
The governor’s plan proposes comprehensive Charter School Law reform that will save school districts across the commonwealth an estimated $229 million per year. This package of policy and budget initiatives promotes accountability for their academic performance and financial management, and meeting the same standards Pennsylvanians expect from traditional public schools.
 
This plan outlines two major issues that if changed, would help CASD immensely:
 
Applying the Special Education Formula to All Charter Schools: Currently, school districts receive funding for special education students through a four-tiered Special Education Funding formula, with funding increasing as the student’s need for special education services increases. Special education tuition payments to charters, however, are calculated based on the outdated assumption that all school districts have a special education population of 16 percent, regardless of the level of services to students. The governor’s plan applies the four-tiered Special Education Funding formula to all charters to better align Special Education Funding with actual costs of providing services to special education students. This was a recommendation from the bipartisan Special Education Funding Commission and will save school districts an estimated $99 million annually.
 
Establishing a Statewide Cyber Charter Tuition Rate: Currently, cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania charge school districts between $9,170 and $22,300 per student per year. For comparison, the typical tuition rates at Intermediate Units to provide a comparable online education is around $5,400 per student per year. The governor’s plan establishes a statewide cyber tuition rate of $9,500 per student per year, and will better align tuition with the actual costs of providing an online education. This reform will save school districts an estimated $130 million annually.
 
These changes would specifically save the CASD $13.8 million annually, and increase our general education budget by 2.8%, and special education budget by $28.6%.
 
We encourage our families to reach out to local legislators in support of Governor Wolf's budget proposal, and to put an end to unfair charter funding. To make this process quick and simple, we have an online action center already established with a composed message ready to send. Simply click on the link below, enter your contact information, and hit send!
 
In summary, if the Governor's budget is approved, the impact to CASD would be as follows:
  • A 2.8% increase ($711,856) in Basic Education Funding from $25.8M to $26.5M
  • A 28.6% increase ($1,605,692) in Special Education Funding $5.6M to $7.2M
  • Estimated Charter School Funding Reform Savings: $13,888,042
 
We need your advocacy so that your elected officials are aware of how CASD will benefit from this budget proposal. It is important that we all fight for fair funding together, and we greatly appreciate your support!
 
In unity,

Mr. Tomás Hanna
Superintendent
Coatesville Area School District

 

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