Cyber Accountability

MYTH:

Tom Wolf states on his website:

“Pennsylvania cyber charter schools are doing a dismal job of educating students. Governor Corbett, who’s responsible for their performance, should be ashamed of himself.

In order to ensure that every student receives a quality education and taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately, Tom Wolf will set new cyber charter oversight requirements, including:

There are too many reports of cyber charter schools inflating enrollment numbers and failing to report students who drop out of school. Taxpayer dollars should follow our students and not help cyber charter operators expand their wallets. As a result, cyber charter schools will be required to regularly submit student attendance data and return funds to local school districts for students that leave during the course of the school year.”


TRUTH:

All Cyber-Charter schools are required to provide enrollment data to the Department of Education and to the home school district that includes the enrollment form (completed by the parent), proof of residence, and proof of birth for the student before any billing can take place. When a student leaves the Cyber-Charter school to return to the district, the Cyber School is required to notify the district, and the district will then know when the student returns. Through reconciliation, any problems that arise are resolved at the end of the year. This reconciliation tracks the student to the day.

In ten years of operation, PA Leadership (Cyber) Charter School has always been owed money from the school districts, not the reverse.

MYTH:

Tom Wolf states on his website:

“Cyber charter teachers are not currently held to the same certification requirements as district-run schools. In order to improve academic outcomes and ensure that cyber charters are hiring qualified educators, all virtual teachers and other education professionals will be required to obtain the appropriate certification.”

TRUTH:

Cyber-Charter Schools (and all other Charter Schools), as defined by the PA Charter and Cyber Charter School Law, were allowed to hire 25% of their teachers without PA certifications.

The federal law, No Child Left Behind, changed that by requiring all teachers to be “highly qualified.”

To be “highly qualified,” one had to obtain a Pennsylvania Certification or demonstrate proficiency the subject one teaches by passing a PRAXIS test. This is the same requirement for district-run schools.

MYTH / TRUTH prepared by:

Dr. James Hanak, CEO, PA Leadership (Cyber) Charter School