Testimony: Advocating for Denial of the Application of the Executive Education Academy Cyber Charter School
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Below is an excerpt from a testimony for the Pennsylvania Department of Education Advocating for Denial of the Application of the Executive Education Academy Cyber Charter School To Open a New Cyber Charter in Pennsylvania, October 29, 2020.
We are education scholars from various academic disciplines and institutions who care deeply about Pennsylvania’s system of public education. These comments represent our viewpoints as individuals. We do not represent our institutions though they are listed below for identification purposes.
The Department of Education should deny the pending applications for any new cyber charter schools. Pennsylvania cannot afford to divert millions more away from public schooldistricts to expand an education option that research studies have deemed an academic failure. Fourteen cyber charter schools already operate in Pennsylvania drawing students from across the state, and affecting nearly every school district. Together, 496 of Pennsylvania’s 500 districts paid over $600 million in tuition to the cyber charters in 2018-2019. The cost of funding cyber charters has fallen most heavily on the most poorly funded school districts in Pennsylvania. This severe financial drain and these poor results have led to widespread, bipartisan calls for reform of the Charter School Law (CSL), particularly of the funding structure. The Department of Education should not further expand cyber charters in Pennsylvania until the Charter School Law is reformed to mitigate the impact on school districts and to ensure that cyber opportunities for Pennsylvania students are quality options, not just money making opportunities for the cyber operators.