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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Letter To The Editor

Opinion
CHARTER SCHOOLS COSTING LOCAL DISTRICTS BIG DOLLARS

As school districts struggle to balance budgets in this time of reduced state support for public education, we are writing in support of a bill: HB 2364. This bill would revise the existing flawed funding formula for charter and cyber charter schools. As it currently stands, local taxpayers are overpaying for services provided by these schools and this bill would adjust the formula in several important areas.

A critical change is that HB 2364 does away with the pension "double dip." Under the current charter school funding formula, a school district's retirement costs are figured into the payments it makes to a charter or cyber charter school. The catch is that these schools also receive reimbursement from the state for a minimum of 50% of its retirement costs, giving charter schools a "double dip" of pension reimbursement - once from the Commonwealth and once from school district taxpayers. Correcting this anomaly would save taxpayers half a billion dollars within 5 years.

A second needed change is special education costs. Local district taxpayers are required to pay the costs of special education students who are enrolled in cyber and cyber charter schools. Under the formula in current law this cost is more than double the amount districts pay for their own special education students. The district average is more than $18,000 per student, per year. HB 2364 would cap the special education amount at the actual cost of service provided if less than the formula reimbursement.

The state's current charter school funding formula is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions in additional tax dollars each year. Almost all funding for charter and cyber charter schools is currently provided by local school districts, placing a significant financial burden on districts' resources. The revision of the funding formula is overdue, and the changes under HB 2364 are needed now.

Scott V. Graham, Superintendent
Northern Potter School District

Charles R. Wicker, Superintendent
Oswayo Valley School District

Alanna R. Huck, Superintendent
Coudersport Area School District

David W. Wishard, Superintendent
Galeton Area School District

13 comments :

Anonymous said...

Where is Austin? No one in the school care or what?

Anonymous said...

I have to say to the superintendents endorsing this letter that maybe it's time to wake up and make school about something other than standardized testing and athletics. I have teenagers in the Coudersport School District and every day is a struggle to make them attend. They want me to cyber school or homeschool them. The school system here is broken a nd obviously losing kids each year to cyber school. It's time they wake up!

Anonymous said...

Did they (Austin) know?
Does Austin have cyber/charter schools?



Isn't it true also, that money is sucked away from building repairs, supplies, etc to fund these cyber/charter schools?

Wouldn't all these cyber/charter schools popping up around small towns and communities have a negative impact? Such as the need to board up schools and ship kids to another school district due to lack of kids going to "real" schools.

Anonymous said...

If the local schools were fair students would want to attend locally. The bullying problem in Coudersport school district is the real issue. I have brought this to the attention of the Principals, the superintendants and school board members. The problem has not been corrected. My child thrives in Charter school. No bullies there. Just learning. The charter school children can still attend their local school for sports like football as well. The charter school is the wave of the future. For the PSA tests the school comes to Coudersport so local children still take the same tests and parents don't have to travel. There are school activities all around the state for cyber school children to attend. All cost free to the parents. Cyber schools such as Agora also loan computers to each student and pay for the internet service. The biggest problem with the Coudersport school district is all in the name. If you have the right one you do no wrong. Have any other and look out. Anybody who denies this either has the name or no children in the school.

Anonymous said...

I thought obummer was going to fix the education system? Hope you all arent still waiting for that "change you can believe in"

Anonymous said...

I hated when I went to school at Coudersport so I eventually transfered out and school was more enjoyable. I agree with you 11:13...I had things stolen from my locker nothing was done about it because it was my fault I didn't have it locked, however when I did have it locked I couldn't make it to class on time. So either leave it unlocked or carry all my books with me at once. Anyways one time another girl who had the "right" last name had something stolen from her locker and man they were all over it. My dad was pissed off and went in to talk to the principal...nothing was done at all. It really is all about having the right name, nothing else matters at all. I do not blame these kids or their parents for taking them out of the school to go to a charter school, I agree because I experienced all the crap at that school.

Anonymous said...

Go Cyber School!!! Let's send our kids and close down the schools with teachers there just for the benefits,superintendents who can't handle their position (and i am not speaking of coudy...)Why don't we say enough of the fat pensions for being lazy!!

Anonymous said...

If you think superintendent salaries are bad, take a look what Charter School CEO'S make. Last year, K-12's CEO made $5 million. That is taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Charter schools are the way to go these days. If the public education system would of fixed there problems over the years they would not be in this position. The public education sector is broke in so many ways. It's to bad teachers are not allowed to knock some of these kids around because that would take care of school bullying problem.

Anonymous said...

Public schools need to cut the fat! I could live very well on the money that is wasted in Austin alone!

Anonymous said...

Cyber school...Really?? True, your children might feel better about themselves if they weren't bullied (I'll reserve comment on that subject) Why send your child to a school that consistently performs worse than public schools on standardized tests? Again, we're not arguing about PSSA's here, but they are the current "exit ticket"

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=349968

Go ahead and pull your child, that's your right.....but don't complain or ask for a refund when they struggle or have trouble adjusting in a social setting.
Remember....YOUR money is paying for this option.

Overpaid teachers? I agree that some members of the profession are just "breathing the air and warming the chair" THEY NEED TO GO!!! We all chose our path in life...I'm sure I couldn't do your job. Do you really know what goes on in a classroom? Or, do you rely on the impartial information that you receive from your child. Do they update you on a daily basis, or just when there is a problem? Have you asked them how their day went? I'd encourage you to contact your local school district and set up an observation with a teacher. The job doesn't end when the bell rings at 3:00. When all the hours are calculated (both in and out of the classroom) we're talking lower-middle class earnings. You probably earn more than I do when it's all said and done..Remember, we all chose our path.



I teach....I make a difference!

Anonymous said...

I love how people give their input about schools, when they have no clue what goes on in a day. Yes, I will agree there are those teachers who are their only for the paycheck, yet their are other who are there to make a difference. Standardize tests do not come from the local areas, they are from national and state government, if you have so much to say please contact your local government and encourage them to make a change, so that public schools can make the change and do what is best for the student's not what the goverment (who isn't in the schools) think is good for our children!

Anonymous said...

Teachers help mold our youth...they should be some of the best paid ppl in America!!!! Every position has ppl there just for the paycheck. In my experience for every 1 teacher who isn't up to par there are 3 more whom are FANTASTIC!! on that note though...to each their own. It should always be up to what the parents feel is best for their child. Go Teachers!!