You're right funding isn't fair when it comes to Pennsylvania's public cyber schools -- except you have it backward in your Oct. 16 editorial "Charter reform bill a step in the right direction."
Our schools need more funding because they already receive 30 percent less than traditional public schools. In fact, despite all the bluster about how our schools are costing school districts that spend billions of tax dollars with no accountability, Pennsylvania cyber schools account for less than 1 percent of all state tax dollars spent on public education.
Despite this, cybers have been leaders of innovation. Imagine what they could do if they were fairly funded -- and not used as scapegoats by the public school establishment for property tax increases. I can tell you that my two children have benefited from their cyber school education. My oldest child has dyslexia. She is now performing well above her grade level, thanks to the help that she received through her cyber school teachers.
The children who attend Pennsylvania public cyber schools are once again being treated like second-class students with the passage of House Bill 618. This bill is devastating for Pennsylvania public cyber school children because it would again cut the funding for our public cyber schools, this time by as much as 8 percent to 10 percent.
While you applaud this, just remember my children will have to do with less because cuts like this lead to cuts in our schools. That means fewer teachers and larger class sizes. And remember this: These cuts won't save a dime of tax money. None of it will be returned to taxpayers -- it will just be transferred to local school districts and absorbed into their huge budgets with barely a notice.
The cut in this legislation isn't about saving money or being responsible stewards of tax dollars. It never was. Simple math tells when you're cutting funding for schools that account for less than 1 percent of all school funding and transferring it school districts that show no signs of responsible budgeting -- you aren't saving anything. What you're really doing is trying to destroy a family's right to choose the best school for their children.
Perhaps the Dispatch should talk to the other side of the issue before drawing such one-sided conclusions.
Pennsylvania Families for
Public Cyber Schools