Local school districts pay too much under state law to fund cyber charter schools, according to a new organization dedicated to reform.
Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley, a group of parents and advocates from Chambersburg, Big Spring, Shippensburg and Carlisle, aims to save taxpayers and school districts millions of dollars by changing the funding formula.
Under current state law, when a student attends a cyber charter school his or her home school district pays tuition to the cyber charter school – an amount determined by the Department of Education and based on the district’s average cost of educating a student traditionally. The problem, according to Education Matters, is that online education is cheaper to provide, so cyber charter schools collect more than their costs, in effect overcharging local taxpayers.
There are 18 cyber charter schools licensed in Franklin County this year, serving a total of 695 students including 272 in Chambersburg Area School District alone, according to the education department. The group Education Matters calculates that every county school district overpays cyber charter schools by more than $50,000, and CASD overpays by more than $1 million annually.
Cyber school would be $1,337,300, the group said. But the district paid $2,358,409 in cyber charter school tuition, handing the companies a profit of $1,021,109.
Click here to read the full article by LAUREN CAPPUCCIO published in the Public Opinion– Chambersburg (February 21,2013)