Susan DeJarnatt

Susan DeJarnatt

Professor of Law, Temple University
Areas of Expertise:

Connect with Susan

About Susan

DeJarnatt's research focuses on the impact of market-based reforms on public education. Overarching themes in DeJarnatt's writing include how privatization of public education undercuts democracy, reduces transparency, and limits oversight by the public and public institutions. DeJarnatt provides testimony to state and local institutions on  the impact of charter expansion and renewal and works with civic groups, including parent and teacher organizations, who try to support public education.

In the News

Quoted by Lisa Haver and Deb Grill in "The Second Installment of Philadelphia School Board Nominee Reports," Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools,
Quoted by Elizabeth Hardison in "Students Flocked to Cyber-Charter Schools This Year. So Did District Revenue and Federal Relief Funds," Governing the Future of States and Localities, April 16, 2021.
Quoted by Jeremy Mohler in "Legislative Resegregation of Schools Catching On in Red States," In the Public Interest, February 23, 2021.
Opinion: "Update Pa’s Charter School Law To Foster Innovation, Bolster Accountability," Susan DeJarnatt, Pennsylvania Capital - Star, December 6, 2019.
Interviewed in "Financial Records Raise Concerns as School Wins $1.5M Grant," Fox 45 News, May 15, 2019.


"Virtual Reality: Cyber Charter Schools and the Need for Reform" Social Science Research Network (2021).

Analyzes the defects in Pennsylvania's formula for funding cyber charter schools and calls for reform of that formula.

"Preserving Education as a Collective Good" in The Fight for America’s Schools, edited by Barbara Ferman (Harvard Education Press, 2017), 131.

Illustrates the background of the market-based education reform movement.

"Oversight, Charter Schools, and a Thorough and Efficient System of Public Education" Social Science Research Network (2020).

Calls for expansion of "accountability" for charter schools beyond just market demand.

"School Choice and the (Ir)Rational Parent," Temple University Beasley School of Law, September 27, 2007.

Uses behavioral law and economics theory to examine the available empirical studies on how parents choose schools. Discusses how those studies undercut NCLB's premise that parents are rational actors when it comes to school selection. Mentions that parental choice of schools is strongly influenced by implicit racial bias and by the parents' economic class, social networks and sources of information about schools.

"A Legal Mandate that Authorizers Consider Fiscal and other Impacts of Charter School Expansion" Social Science Research Network (2019).

Traces the legislative history of Pennsylvania's Charter School Law, all court interpretations of it, and news accounts contemporary to the passage of the law to show that charter school authorizations not only can but must consider the fiscal impact of charter school expansion and renewal on traditional public school districts.

"Community Losses: The Costs of Education Reform" University of Toledo Law Review (2014).

Explores the costs of education reform in Philadelphia, including the loss of community voice, the loss of effective parental choice for those parents who prefer public schools; economic costs in the negative impact of charter costs on the school district's budget; and loss of opportunities for other methods of education reform that treat public education as a public good.