Charter-school Bill Moving Through Pa. Legislature
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The first major overhaul of Pennsylvania’s charterschool law is making its way through the Legislature.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that lawmakers could act in the next few weeks on a bill that sponsors say includes urgently needed reforms, but critics warn could speed the decline of conventional public schools.
The law that established charter schools in Pennsylvania was enacted in 1997. Today there are some 176 charter schools, which are taxpayer funded but independently operated.
A spokesman for the bill’s main sponsor, Republican state Sen. Lloyd Smucker of Lancaster County, says the state’s charter-school law needs to be modernized. But public education advocates worry that parts of the bill will hasten the flight of students from traditional public schools to charters.