Steven Singer discovered that the Pennsylvania Department of Education invited citizens to comment on the state’s charter law.

Now is your chance to be heard.

Steven has some definite ideas about what needs to change and he tells you where to send your own comments.

He writes:

This is a huge opportunity for residents fed up with the nonsense the school privatization industry has been getting away with in the Commonwealth for decades.

Pennsylvania has one of the worst charter school laws in the nation.

Charter schools are taxpayer-funded but privately operated.

Though there are about 180 of these privatized institutions throughout the state with more than 137,000 students, that represents only about 6 percent of the kids enrolled in public school.

Yet the state funding system pits authentic public schools against charter schools for the financing needed to stay open.

Charter schools siphon money from authentic public schools serving the neediest students creating a deficit spiral. Money gushes out of public districts which have to cut teachers and programs to patch budget gaps which in turn result in even more parents pulling their children out of the public schools and trying to enroll them in charters.

Though the legislature used to help authentic public schools by reimbursing them for 30% of the charter school costs, that funding has been eliminated.

Meanwhile, the charter school law has barely changed at all since it was enacted in 1997.

Gov. Tom Wolf has promised to correct that with sweeping reforms in 2020 – even if it means bypassing the gerrymandered and gridlocked legislature with executive orders.

But before he can begin, he needs to hear from commonwealth voters.