Study finds cost of Pa. charter schools ‘obvious and escalating’ (Newsworks)
AUGUST 31, 2014. By Mary Wilson
A study released this summer finds charter school enrollment has grown steadily, but at the expense of Pennsylvania school district budgets.
Penn State researchers call the financial pressure on school districts “obvious and escalating,” finding that from the 2006 to 2012 school years, the statewide cost more than doubled, arriving at $1.3 billion. The main statewide subsidy for education at the same point was $5.5 billion.
Districts pay tuition for each student who leaves their district for a charter or cyber charter school.
Professor Bill Hartman, part of a team of researchers who conducted the study, said tuition costs are expected to keep rising by 10 to 20 percent a year.
“The school districts have no control over the number of kids that go to charter schools,” Hartman said. “Now, they are pushing back – they have created their own cyber schools, some of them very successfully. So they are trying to lure kids back in school districts, and that helps. But there’s no restriction on parents’ ability to send kids there.”
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