Get the Facts: Legislative Updates

Legislative Updates

House Bill 97 Update
November 9, 2017, Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools (KAPCS)

Although other public charter school advocacy organizations have endorsed the current version of House Bill 97, the Keystone Alliance continues to work with legislative leaders and their staff on KAPCS’ concerns (click here to download a summary of KAPCS’ concerns) with this legislation. The most important provision – among others – that must be removed from the bill before KAPCS can support it is the requirement for the Charter School Funding Advisory Commission to recommend “the appropriate manner of implementing the recommendations of the Special Education Funding Commission with respect to charter schools, regional charter school and cyber charter schools.”

Applying the Special Education Funding Commission’s recommended three-tier system for special education students in public charter schools would result in the loss of more than $400 million to public charter schools, which would force virtually every public charter school to close within one to three years.

The Keystone Alliance remains focused on working with lawmakers to make House Bill 97 a better piece of legislation that will benefit public charter schools and their students and not impose additional burdens or financial harm on them. KAPCS sent a letter about this legislation to both the House and Senate Republican leadership teams. Click here to read the letter to the House; click here to read the letter to the Senate.

To learn more about this bill, please download the following documents :
Summary of House Bill 97 PN 1339
House Bill 97 PN 1339

State Budget Update

Governor Wolf’s office on late Friday, November 3, announced that the Governor would allow House Bill 178 (School Code amendments) to become law without his signature. The law took effect on Monday, November 6 as Act 55 of 2017.

With the School Code bill now law, the state budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year has been completed. Attention now turns to House Bill 97 (charter school reform) and preparations for the Governor’s proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which will be unveiled in February 2018.

The recently enacted School Code includes the following provisions for public charter schools:

Multiple Charter School Organizations – allows two or more high-performing charter schools to consolidate into an MCSO that would be managed by a single board of trustees and a single administrator.
Ready-to-Learn Block Grant – charter schools would receive in 2017-18 the same amount they received in 2016-17.
Charter School Trustees Training – beginning in the 2018-19 school year, newly elected or appointed trustees are required to take four hours of training and re-elected or re-appointed trustees are required to take two hours of training. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is required to provide the training at no cost to charter schools and their trustees.
Keystone Exams – delays the use of the Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement one additional year to the 2019-20 school year.

For detailed information about the above items, click here to download KAPCS’ summary.

For more information on PA Brick and Mortar Charter Schools and current legislation, click the following link:


KAPCS WebsiteKAPCS Website

​For up-to-the-minute news releases on rapidly-changing legislation, click the following links:

KAPCS News Releases

KAPCS Press Releases

KAPCS Weekly Updates

Important Updates from KAPCS

Charter Schools-Separating Fact from Fiction

Keystone Alliance 17-18 Legislative Priorities

Governor Wolf’s Proposed 2017-18 Education Budget

For information about upcoming votes and the PA State General Assembly, click the following link:PA General Assembly Website   PA General Assembly Website  

For Chester County Intermediate Unit's Legislative updates, click the following link:

CCIU Legislative Updates

Charter Schools: Fact vs. Fiction

FICTION:  Charter Schools are private schools.
FACT:  All Pennsylvania Charter Schools are public schools

  There aren't very many Charter Schools in PA.
FACT:  There are 160 Brick-and-Mortar Charter Schools in PA, with nearly 100,000 students enrolled.

FICTION:  Charter Schools hurt traditional public schools by taking away funding.
FACT:  Traditional public schools keep 35% of the funding for each Charter School student that leaves their district.

FICTION:  Charter Schools teachers are uncertified.
FACT:  Charter School teachers are required to be fully certified under the "No Child Left Behind" Act.

FICTION:  Charter Schools can expel students without cause.
FACT:  The expulsion requirements for Charter Schools and public schools are the same.

FICTION:  Charter Schools are exempt from state mandated testing.
FACT:  Charter School students are required to take state mandated assessments.

Current Legislative District Maps

PA Redistricting Map 2014

PA House District Map 2014