charter schools en Pittsburgh School Board Rejects Charter School Expansion Plans <p>Despite its lengthy waiting list, the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park (ECS) was recently denied permission to expand by the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) Board of Directors.</p><p>ECS is a K-8 school created in 2008 to provide alternative education with a focus on the environment. According to ECS Director of Innovation and Development Nikole Sheaffer, the school has a yearly waiting list of 400 to 500 students, and sought to expand to serve that demand.</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:21:34 +0000 Kaye Burnet 33170 at Charters Dodge Special Education Funding Changes <p>A recently approved tweak to special education funding won’t apply to charter schools, after all. State lawmakers shied away from the changes after charters argued it would have been unfair.<br /><br />There will be changes to the way traditional public schools receive any new funding for special education — it’ll be based on the needs of individual students and school districts, instead of being tied to an average special needs cost across the state.<br /> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:47:22 +0000 Mary Wilson 32634 at Auditor General Calls For Greater Oversight Of Charter Schools <p>From the creation of Pennsylvania’s charter school law in 1997 to today there has been greater public school choice in the state, and many charter schools are doing a good job. That’s one of the positives noted in PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s audit of charter schools.</p><p>But DePasquale said there are still many challenges in the charter school system. His audit recommends increased accountability, transparency and effectiveness of charter schools and includes a recommendation to create an independent statewide charter school oversight board.</p> Mon, 12 May 2014 19:26:53 +0000 Deanna Garcia 29086 at Auditor General Holds Meeting on Charter Schools <p>How can charter schools better help Pennsylvania students succeed? That is the question Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is asking.</p><p>At an information gathering session in Ross Township, DePasquale said they want to strengthen the accountability and transparency of the charter school system.</p><p>“Our goal in the hearings over the next three weeks is to provide really the best practices and also good points to the Pennsylvania General Assembly so they can take that, incorporate that, in updating and improving the Pennsylvania Charter School Law,” DePasquale said.</p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 12:43:08 +0000 Jessica Nath 24999 at How Is Your School Spending Its Money? The Answer Could Soon Be Online <p>How are Pennsylvania school districts spending your tax money?</p><p>SchoolWATCH, a bill aimed at answering that question, was approved by the House of Representatives Monday.</p><p>It would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to create a website displaying the revenues and expenditures of traditional public, charter and cyber school districts in the commonwealth.</p><p>The legislation’s author, Representative Jim Christiana (R-Beaver), said they want to create an “easy-to-use” database.</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 17:43:39 +0000 Jessica Nath 22810 at State Lawmaker Works to Improve Charter, Cyber Charter Schools <p>A Pittsburgh-area state lawmaker wants charter and cyber charter schools to be regulated as strictly as public schools.</p><p>Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) introduced a package of legislation that aims to address issues with charter and cyber charter schools’ accountability, teacher certification and the need for high quality pre-kindergarten.</p><p>If passed, Brewster’s legislation would halt the State Charter School Appeal Board and the Department of Education from approving a new charter or cyber charter school.</p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 08:30:00 +0000 Jessica Nath 21862 at State Senate Charter School Proposal Faces Criticism <p>Some education advocates are criticizing a state Senate proposal to revamp how public charter schools start, expand and receive funding because it would remove a check on the growth of the alternative schools.<br /><br />A plan before a key legislative committee would allow charter schools to increase their enrollment without the approval of the school district that first authorized their charter.<br /><br />David Lapp is a former charter school teacher and now a staff attorney with the Education Law Center.<br /> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 08:30:00 +0000 Mary Wilson 19584 at Parents, Teachers, Administrators Address Achievement Gap in Pittsburgh <p>“Where’s the moral outrage over the lack of equity in education,” asked Duquesne University Dean of Education Olga Welch who attended a recent community forum on the achievement gap held by 90.5 WESA.</p><p>“Where is it,” replied forum panel member Jeremy Resnick, a founder of Propel Charter Schools, “it’s missing.”</p><p>Dozens of parents, teachers and administrators crowded the Community Broadcast Center recently for a public forum as part of WESA’s <a href="">Life of Learning</a> initiative.</p> Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:37:00 +0000 Kevin Gavin 19146 at Parents, Teachers, Administrators Address Achievement Gap in Pittsburgh Open Records Chief Calls Charter Schools Scofflaws <div id="leadership_content"><p>The head of the state's Office of Open Records is pointing a finger at public charter schools for being the "cancer" of the state's Right-to-Know law.</p><p>The testimony comes as lawmakers are in the midst of an effort to tweak the state's five-year-old law, which lets citizens request government records starting with the presumption that all such documents are public, putting the burden of proof on agencies, not citizens.</p> Fri, 17 May 2013 22:01:40 +0000 Mary Wilson 9778 at Charter School Groups Fighting Funding Reducing Proposals <p>Charter school groups are giving bad grades to legislative proposals that would reduce what they receive in funding from their local school districts.</p><p>One of the more tense exchanges in a recent state House committee hearing on proposals that would mean less funding for charter and cyber charter schools came during a back and forth on the quality of the education provided at the publicly-funded, privately-run schools.</p> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 17:31:58 +0000 Mary Wilson 3382 at Cyber Charter Schools Raise Larger Questions About Public Ed Funding <p>As state lawmakers consider proposed changes to funding cyber charter schools, larger problems with how public education is funded are drawing attention.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 14 Mar 2013 21:34:32 +0000 Mary Wilson 3350 at