Cyber School Surpluses

MYTH:

Cyber-Charter Schools run large surpluses, demonstrating that they do not need the money allocated to them to run these “less expensive” schools.


TRUTH:

WHYY Newsworks: January 6, 2014 *

“The 10 cybers with publicly available tax forms maintained a total surplus of $13,688,029.” (11-12)

For these ten schools, serving approximately 24,000 students, this represents 5.62% of their school’s annual budgets.  The article continues:

“Maintaining some sort of surplus is common in all public schools. State law requires Pennsylvania school districts to keep at least 5 percent of their annual spending in undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, as a whole, Pennsylvania’s public schools have amassed $3.8 billion in surpluses.”

‘It’s fiscally responsible for public schools to set aside funds for emergency purposes and unexpected expenditures,’ said PDE spokesman Tim Eller.’”

In addition, Cyber Charter Schools need extra fund balances because more than five percent of their income is always owed to the Cyber School from the home school district.

*  Taken from Temple law professor, Susan DeJarnatt in an article published in Urban Lawyer, Fall 2013.

MYTH / TRUTH prepared by:

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