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Impact: Cyber charter schools
Prime Sponsor: Representative Mike Reese
Summary: In addition to all current deductions on the PDE Form 363, permits districts to take new deductions for 50% of the cost for any cyber program offered by the district, 50% of their expenditures for extracurricular activities, and 100% of costs for student services, such as libraries and health services, before paying the cyber charter school.
- Cyber program deduction is permitted regardless of the quality of the program or even if any students attend the program.
- Extracurricular deduction ignores cyber school costs for field trips, artistic enrichment activities and clubs.
- Deductions for student services ignores the facts that cybers maintain online resources for students and are required by law to maintain certified medical personnel on staff.
- Ignores the fact districts deduct for transportation which they do not provide.
Cyber charter schools already deliver high quality education to students for 20% less than traditional public schools. HB 759, combined with HB 618, will result in an additional 20%-30% reduction in the per student investment in each child choosing an independent cyber school option. This will drop the net investment in cyber schooled children below that of the lowest district in the state, forcing the smaller cyber schools to close and the larger ones to significantly reduce the depth and breadth of their educational offering. These bills will kill the high quality independent cyber school option in Pennsylvania.