Pa. Lawmakers Set Aside Charter School Authorization

Monday, 15 Oct 2012 11:15 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are setting aside a measure to make forming charter schools easier so they can concentrate on other school regulatory changes before the election.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, charter school proponents had been pushing for a state board to authorize new schools rather than leaving it in the hands of local school districts.
That change to the charter rules seemed to be very close this past summer. Republican Gov. Tom Corbett said negotiators had been within a sentence of getting the change through.
But Erik Arneson, a spokesman for state Senate Republicans, said lawmakers decided to put aside the issue of a state board for the moment to focus on getting other regulatory changes, including a commission to study funding and mandate annual independent audits.
The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter schools said it’s encouraged by the agreement because the legislation that will likely be voted on this week will increase “flexibility, transparency and accountability for charter schools."

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