Auditor General calls for charter school reform - abc27 WHTM

Auditor General calls for charter school reform

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

In a 22-page report released Monday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale suggests various reformation guidelines for Pennsylvania's 179 traditional and cyber charter schools.

DePasquale cites the pulling of charter school reimbursements as one of the many reasons that funding mechanisms have been muddied.

He offers the idea of special education in a Monday afternoon interview. An issue arises when a charter and public school disagree on whether a student requires special education. If a charter school thinks so, then the district would have to forward more money to the charter school than what was given to them by the state.

DePasquale said the Department of Education should be required to make that call.

The report also urges the creation of a statewide oversight board along with updated rules on enrollment and transparency.

DePasquale feels the choice to go charter is an important one for parents, but also understand the predicament that public schools are now in.

When a child leaves for a charter school, the money goes with them, but he adds that the group expenses do not.

"You still have that class, it just has two fewer kids," DePasquale said. "You still need that same teacher. You still have the same heating bill, etc."

Despite high graduation rates, it was announced in April that New Hope Charter Academy in York City would close for good. Just months earlier, York City's public schools were at risk of being shut down by the state. That would have made the city all charter.

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