School Officials Address Funding Issues and charter Schools

The leaders of several Montgomery County School Districts gathered at E.M.C. Elementary School in Souderton Monday to address the funding issues that confront public education in Pennsylvania.

The topics included pension costs and a bill soon to be considered in the state senate that would eliminate the property tax and replace it with increases in sales and income taxes. Souderton Area School District Superintendent Frank Gallagher told the group that a bricks and mortar charter school down the street from the gathering costs his district 2.5 million dollars a year.

“But if they were to close it would probably cost taxpayers 200,000 because we would probably have to hire two teachers. I’m not suggesting they should close, but I am advocating for reform on how charter schools are funded and how they are held accountable.”

Cyber charter schools also came up in the discussion with online education getting a failing grade because cyber students spend less than two thirds as much time on school.