FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Bryan Barbin
Barbin calls for revised funding for cyber charter schools
HARRISBURG, May 2 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria, has introduced legislation that would save up to $100 million and allow the state to provide funding for full-day kindergarten and additional funds for school districts predominantly through local taxes.
"House Bill 2341 would provide standards and set limits on how cyber charter schools are funded in Pennsylvania," Barbin said. "The bill would:
· Establish a standard statewide cyber charter school tuition rate of $5,000 for non-special education students, to be paid by the commonwealth rather than by individual school districts;
· Provide consequences for cyber schools that do not meet Adequate Yearly Progress; and
· Transfer cyber charter surplus funds to support traditional, public school full-day kindergarten and provide property tax relief for districts relying on local tax revenues for 80 percent of their budgets."
Barbin's legislation is in response to a March statement issued by the state Auditor General's Office indicating that taxpayers could have saved $86 million in 2009-10 if cyber charter schools received funding based on what they spent per student.
"Nine new cyber charter schools have applied for funding which will require funds to be transferred from already-burdened school budgets," Barbin said. "Unless this issue is resolved now, we will create another budget crisis in two years that may cripple public education for decades to come.
"My legislation is intended to establish funding based on cost," Barbin said. "In a tight budget, nothing less is required of any state program."