The McKeesport Area School Board has lent its support to proposed legislation that would change the way cyber-charter school tuition is collected.
At the board's March 27 meeting, the board approved a resolution in support of state House Bill 526 and state Senate Bill 34. If passed, the bills would require families to pay out-of-pocket tuition for their children to attend a cyber-charter school if a similar program was offered by their home district.
Paying cyber-charter school tuition can cost the McKeesport Area School District “possibly over a million dollars (for) some of the students who are out of the district, in other cyber-charter school systems,” Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. said.
House Bill 526 was introduced by state Rep. Curt Sonney of Erie County, while Senate Bill 34 is sponsored by state Sen. Judith Schwank of Berks County.
Under the proposed legislation, Schwank said in a memorandum to school districts, “a district that offers a cyber program equal in scope and content to the cyber charter school will not be responsible for the tuition costs.”
Sonney said the legislation would encourage school districts to offer full-time cyber education programs to their students, and will “encourage their students to enroll in these school district programs, and ultimately will result in savings for school districts.”
Under the proposed legislation, if a student enrolls in full-time cyber education program offered by the student’s school district of residence, the student’s enrollment in the program “will be subject to no tuition or fees other than those the school district may impose on its students generally,” Sonney said in a sponsorship memorandum.
Richard Finch Jr. is a freelance writer who covers news from McKeesport Area School District and North Versailles Twp. for Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published April 02, 2019.