Reese Amendment to Address Cyber Education Passes House Education Committee

HARRISBURG - An amendment filed by Rep. Mike Reese (R-Westmoreland/Fayette) aimed at improving the funding formula for cyber education passed the House Education Committee Monday.

“Updating Pennsylvania’s 16-year-old cyber education laws has been a goal of mine since entering the Legislature and serving on the House Education Committee,” said Reese. “In this case the first priority was to safeguard taxpayer dollars, while preserving parents’ rights to choose other education venues for their children.”

The amendment is now part of House Bill 618, which was introduced by Rep. Joe Emrick (R-Northampton). It would allow school districts to deduct the cost of food service and employee pensions from their per-pupil expense paid to cyber charter schools for the next two years. During that time, a charter school funding advisory commission would be assembled and work toward identifying further corrections. The commission will include various education professionals, members of the Pennsylvania House, Senate and others.

The legislation would further strengthen charter and cyber charter schools by increasing transparency and accountability, ensuring cyber charter schools are enforcing compulsory attendance, applying teacher evaluations and academic quality measures, creating a funding commission to examine permanent charter funding improvements, and allowing for direct payments to charter schools.

“Cyber schools have a place at the table and they can be great options for students and families in Pennsylvania,” Reese added. “But that doesn’t mean the laws passed 16 years ago don’t need to be updated. This is a means to strengthen and improve this system.”

House Bill 618 has been sent to the House floor for consideration.

Representative Mike Reese
59th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Raymond Smith
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