School boards protest diversion of cash to charter schools

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania public school advocates are unhappy that the Department of Education is diverting cash to pay charter schools and immunizing them from the fiscal pain of the entrenched state budget stalemate.

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association said Friday that the diversion is illegal. The money comes from a tax on slot machine casino gambling that was designed to lower school property tax bills and typically is paid directly to school districts.

Tim Eller of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools says the payments are legal and that state law allows it.

Some charter schools have seen school districts cut off their monthly payments amid the stalemate. Eller says some charter schools have gone without payments from school districts since July and the gambling money just became available.

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