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School Funding Reform Bill Passed in Pennsylvania

A new bill, which adjusts the public school funding formula, has been approved by the lower chamber in Pennsylvania. This legislation has been met with mixed reactions among lawmakers, highlighting a sharp divide in opinion.

The primary focus of the bill is the substantial alteration in financial support and regulation for charter schools, aiming to generate savings. Specifically, the bill slashes tuition payments to charter schools to a maximum of $8,000 per student and introduces stricter regulatory measures. Proponents argue that these changes could save $530 million annually, equivalent to about 49% of the tuition expenses reported by districts.

Critics, such as Dr. Anne Clark from the Pennsylvania Coalition for Public Charter Schools, argue that the bill overlooks the higher operating costs of cyber charter schools, including expenditures for technical infrastructure and student support services. They contend that such financial constraints could harm Pennsylvania’s educational landscape by limiting school choice and potentially damaging the state’s educational and economic future.

Furthermore, the bill addresses financial disparities in special education funding and limits the fund balances that charter schools can maintain, which is intended to prevent budgetary problems and unnecessary tax hikes.

This legislation updates a 27-year-old law governing cyber charter schools, which, according to school board officials, has led districts to overpay by $455 million annually due to outdated funding structures.

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Earl L. Crawford, Jr. 1937-2024

Earl worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for 30 years before going into business for himself at Crawford Tire from 1981 until 2019.

Dennis W. Flythe 1953-2024

Denny attended Greencastle Antrim High School and graduated from Delaware State University. He focused on providing for his family and creating a legacy.

Arnold W. Wagaman 1939-2024

Arnie was employed at Mack Truck as a quality control specialist until his retirement; a total of 39 years. In his free time, he enjoyed fishing and gardening.

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