Rodriguez, Colleagues to Discuss Charter School Costs

HARRISBURG PA – Pottstown School District Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez (at top) will be one of five featured panelists participating May 5 (2021; Wednesday) from 2-3 p.m. in a Zoom virtual discussion on the growing cost of charter and cyber-charter schools to taxpayers in districts across the state, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association announced.

Pennsylvania school districts annually spend more than $2 billion in taxpayer money on mandatory payments to charter schools, and their costs continue to grow, it claimed. Charter tuitions paid by school districts rose 229 percent during the last 11 years, the association reported. The problem “was exacerbated during the pandemic, with (more than) 22,000 students shifting to cyber-charter schools at an additional statewide cost of over $335 million,” it added.

Rodriguez and his fellow panelists, in what PSBA called a “virtual press event,” will speak “to the issue of charter reform, including funding, transparency, and accountability issues, as it relates to their respective school districts,” the association said Wednesday (April 28). Also represented during the discussion will be superintendents from West Chester Area, Philadelphia, Bensalem, and Upper Darby schools.

Photo from the Pottstown School District