Governor Wolf, legislature look at funding changes for charter schools

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Tim Eller is the executive director of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools. He says Governor Tom Wolf’s call for charter schools to return excess funds to school districts could be costly.

“A safety net for unforeseen emergencies is important,” Eller said. “A roof blows off or the boiler blows up in the basement of the building, there needs to be funding in the account to pay for the cost of repairs or replacements.”

Jeffrey Sheridan, Wolf’s press secretary, says the governor believes charter schools and cyber schools should be held to the same standard as public schools.

“There is nothing in the governor’s proposal that charter schools will not be able to fix broken down boilers or falling down roofs,” Sheridan said.

The state House voted Wednesday in favor of a Republican bill that allows charter schools to get funding directly from the Department of Education. Sheridan says Wolf does not support it.

“The governor opposes that measure,” Sheridan said. “It places an undue burden on the Department of Education.”

Eller says the bill has several provisions for accountability for charter schools and it will call for the schools to have additional funding on hand in case of unexpected expenses or needed repairs.

He says he looks forward to meeting with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and members of the Wolf administration in the upcoming weeks.

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