HB 272 Thanks – April 28, 2021



Cyber charter enrollment in Southeastern Pennsylvania grew by over 6,300 students this year, leaving district officials scrambling to cover $176 million in new tuition costs. These higher costs frequently get passed on to local taxpayers in the form of higher property taxes. In fact, some legislative districts could see taxes rise by as much as 12% just to offset the spike in cyber tuition payments. 

That’s a solution nobody wants. 

The good news is that 34 Southeastern Pennsylvania lawmakers are proactively backing a better solution by co-sponsoring House Bill 272, the Charter School Reform Act of 2021. It is especially noteworthy that HB 272 has support from both sides of the aisle – including six Republicans from the southeast – suggesting that reining in cyber charter tuition costs can bridge the partisan divide. Clearly, the data produced by PCCY’s PA Charter Performance Center and the outreach of our education team has had a powerful impact.

Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law is nearly a quarter-century old, harkening back to the days when IBM’s Deep Blue defeated Soviet champion Garry Kasparov. HB 272 would update how cyber charter tuition is calculated to bring it closer in line with actual costs in two ways. 

  1. It would establish a standard cyber charter tuition rate of $9,500. Cyber schools currently charge between $9,659 and $22,322 per non-special education student or roughly two to four times the rate that Intermediate Units presently charge.  
  2. HB 272 would require charter schools and district run public schools to use the same system to calculate special education tuition rates. Under Pennsylvania’s archaic law, the rates that charter schools charge have nothing to do with how much they actually spend on special education. 

We applaud the following members of the Southeastern delegation and their efforts to protect the best interests of taxpayers and local schools. 

Click here to send a thank you message to your state representative (Don’t know if you live in the right district? Don’t worry, just fill in your details on the letter and we’ll figure it out for you.) 

Rep. Matthew Bradford (D-Mont) Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Mont) Rep. Mary Jo Daley (D-Mont)
Rep. Margo Davidson (D-Del) Rep. Tina Davis (D-Bucks) Rep. David Delloso (D-Del)
Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald (D-Phila) Rep. John Galloway (D-Bucks) Rep. Liz Hanbidge (D-Mont)
Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester/Mont) Rep. Joe Hohenstein (D-Phila) Rep. Kristine Howard (D-Chester)
Rep. Mary Louise Iscaacson (D-Phila) Rep. Leanne Krueger (D-Del) Rep. Stephen Malagari (D-Mont)
Rep. Joanna McClinton (D-Phila/Del) Rep. Ed Neilson (D-Phila) Rep. Napoleon Nelson (D-Mont)
Rep. Danielle Friel Otten (D-Chester) Rep. Jennifer O’Mara (D-Del) Rep. Tracy Pennycuick (R-Mont)
Rep. F. Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks) Rep. Benamin Sanchez (D-Mont) Rep. Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks)
Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D-Chester) Rep. Jared Solomon (D-Phila) Rep. Craig Staats (R-Bucks)
Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Del/Mont) Rep. Perry Warren (D-Bucks)
Rep. Joe Webster (D-Mont) Rep. Dan Williams (D-Chester) Rep. Regina Young (D-Phila/Del)
Rep. Mike Zabel (D-Delaware)