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Sat, Oct 10, 2015

PA and WA lose $872K to Cyber & Charter Schools

PA and WA lose $872K to Cyber & Charter Schools

Charlie Sciandra
Thirty years ago would you have said the US Post Office would ever have to worry about competition?
   Probably not.
   Fast forward, the US Post Office is on the brink of bankruptcy facing stiff competition from UPS, FedEx, DHL and other carriers.
   Right now, those in public education are in denial thinking there’ll never be competition.   Especially when you consider Pennsylvania has not implemented a voucher system that would allow parents a “choice” where to send their children.
   Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but competition has arrived and quickly eroding at your ever sacred tax base.
   According to Tom Melone from the Albert Melone Company, in 2011 Wyoming Area forked over $236,000 and Pittston Area paid a whopping $636,000 for children attending either Charter or Cyber Schools.
   This is just not a $3,000 voucher to send your child to St Mary’s (that’s another story).  If a child is enrolled into a Charter or Cyber School every school district is mandated to pay the actual cost to educate the child.  
   For example, the average cost to educate a student at Pittston Area exceeds $12,000.  If a parent decides to send their child to Cyber or Charter School, Pittston area must fork over $12,000 to that institution.
   With boat loads of public funds at stake, private industry sees this for the taking and viola the public school has competition breathing down their back picking off 12 grand at a time and growing.
   When sitting school board member Charlie Sciandra was running he said “our brand has been damaged and we need to fix that.”
   My thought is Sciandra sees a hole in the bucket and Cyber and Charter Schools are quickly grabbing the runoff.  This is a big chunk of the market and Pittston Area lost $636,000 to the competition last year.  
   All across the state Cyber Schools are popping up. Rest assured, if the public school sector turns a blind eye to this, in ten years the number at Pittston Area will be in the tens of millions.  At that point it will be too late and you can kiss a public education goodbye at Pittston Area.
   The time to act is now.  With talk of a possible merger between Wyoming Area and Pittston Area, this would be a great stepping stone to share resources.  Both districts should look at building a Cyber School.  
   Then and only then, can the public sector begin to look at plugging that leak in the bucket and stop losing boat loads of money to the competition.  

Member Opinions:
By: Nanteen on 2/18/12
Lets guess what school districts will do:

A. Improve the quality of the educations causing parents to not want to send their children to charter or cyber schools.


B. Find a way to ban charter and cyber schools.

By: mrh51 on 2/18/12
Obviously Charter and especially cyber schools have lower operational costs than traditional brick and mortar schools. There is legislation introduced in the state house to limit payments to charter and cyber school only to real costs accrued by having a child attend. Contact your local legislator to press them to take action on this legislation.

By: WA-Alumni on 2/18/12
I agree with mrh51. I'm paying taxes to Wyoming Area so that MY children get a great education. If a parent chooses to send their child/children to charter or cyber school, then THEY should foot the ENTIRE cost. Why is the burden placed not only on me, but on the elderly that are living pay check to pay check. Wyoming Area offers a FREE education and if parents chose to send their child/children to charter or cyber schools, then THEY should pay.....NOT US!!!!!!!

Please contact the local legislator(s) and let's get the ball rolling on putting the burden on the parents not the taxpayers!!!!!!!!

By: Shineon on 2/18/12
Wake up and smell the roses!!!! You still don't get it. Parents are tired of the schools thinking they have so much control over our children and so here come the cyber and charter schools. Get rid of the uniforms which proclaim to have such power and allow us to dress our children as we can afford, but appropriately. Take a look at the Scranton schools, they have had uniforms for a long time and their scores haven't picked up. Look at GAR a machette. Take a look at Wyoming Areas 365 day alchohol and drug policy and yet school board members get DUI's and no reprocusions. I could go on and on, but nobody wants to look at the real reasons.

By: Nanteen on 2/19/12
WA-Alumni by your line of thinking I don't have kids why should I have to pay for your to go to school? Maybe make people who have kids in school (any school) pay to send them and not put the burden on the back of childless couples or single people?

By: headshaker on 2/19/12
At one time or another, EVERYONE benefits from a public education---whether that be at a public school, or with funding, transportation, and books provided by a public school. The education you receive lasts your entire life. Why is it so hard to comprehend paying for that education for your entire life so that others can receive the same benefits you did??

The question of paying for public education has been misconstrued for years. It has nothing to do with whether you have kids receiving a public education or not. The actual comparison should be---did you get an education aided at least in part by the public school system? If so, pay up. That's what other taxpayers did when you were a kid.

Pay it forward. Stop trying to shirk a responsibility that preceding generations suffered so that we can have an educated society.

By: Nanteen on 2/20/12
So If I was educated in the private school system that my parents paid directly for, does that mean I can avoid paying for public education?

I encourage as many people as possible to send their kids to private/charter/or cyber schools and get them away from the useless public union thug education system.

By: headshaker on 2/20/12
Actually no. That wouldn't mean you avoided paying for public education. Note that private schools already receive financial assistance from public school systems in the form of textbooks and transportation at taxpayer expense. Thus, even the private schoolers benefited from public school taxes.

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