Corman: Wolf’s Charter School Plan Tone-Deaf to Needs of Parents, Students

(HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-34) issued the following statement today in response to Governor Wolf’s plan on charter schools:

“Once again, Governor Wolf shows how tone-deaf and out-of-touch he is with the people of Pennsylvania as we continue to fight through the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the Governor double-downed on his budget-day promise to slash funding for charter school students – $229 million – and limit school choice for families at a time when hundreds of school districts remain closed and students fall further behind. It is clear that the Governor’s proposal is not based on what the parents and students in Pennsylvania want and need.

“There are 40,000 students on charter school waitlists in Philadelphia, another 10,000 waiting for a seat in the Lehigh Valley and this school year more than 25,000 students enrolled in public cyber charter schools. Parents want more choices but Wolf only cares about political posturing and special interests.

“Instead of talking about cuts to education, I encourage the governor to roll up his sleeves, return to the Capitol and work with those of us who have been pursuing comprehensive charter reform for almost a decade. Proposing to cut funding for students just because they exercised school choice is discriminatory and targeting students with special education needs – who under Wolf’s proposal would see $99 million taken from them – is unconscionable.

“The Governor’s charter school plan forces kids, many minorities and economically disadvantaged, back in failing public schools.  It’s time we end the education lottery, where your future is determined by your zip code.

“School districts have over $4.5 billion in unreserved fund balances and received $2.27 billion in federal relief funds over the last 10 months ($500 million going directly to the Philadelphia School District that remains closed). Let’s work together to ensure ALL public schools (district and charter) are held to high standards, are good stewards of taxpayer dollars and are providing every student with a world-class education.”