Education Voters of Pennsylvania is calling on lawmakers to eliminate what they call wasteful spending, and save $250 million in taxpayer money.
Proponents of cyber charter schools say they’re not looking at the full picture.
Susan Spicka spent the day talking with lawmakers about her organization’s new report on cyber charter schools.
“We shouldn’t be spending $48,000 for a student from one district to go to the same cyber school that we’re spending $7,000 to send a student to,” said Spicka.
She says every year Pennsylvanians spend $463 million on tuition bills to cyber schools.
“A lot of the money going into the cyber school just isn’t spent educating children because it doesn’t cost that much money to educate kids at home on a computer,” said Spicka.
Senate Bill 34 was introduced last month, which would require families to pay out of pocket for a cyber charter school if their home district offers a program equal in scope and content.
Ana Meyers with the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools says the bill would eliminate school choice for many families.
“Comparing cyber charter schools to cyber programs that are provided by the districts is apples to oranges. Cyber charter schools provide a much more comprehensive program,” said Meyers.
State Rep. Curt Somney, the Chairman of the House Education Committee is set to introduce similar legislation.
“It’s going to take some work on the committee. We’re going to visit some cyber schools and we’re going to visit public schools and we’re going to take a look at the issue and really take a dive into it to just see where we’re at,” said Rep. Somney.
This will be the fifth year Rep. Somney introduces his bill.