Gov. Wolf Acts to Ensure Charter Schools Better Serve Students and Taxpayers

first_img Education,  Press Release Allentown, PA – Recognizing Pennsylvania’s flawed and outdated charter school law is one of the worst in the nation, Governor Tom Wolf is taking executive action, overhauling regulations, and will propose legislation to comprehensively reform the law. The governor outlined his vision that will strengthen charter school quality, accountability and transparency to control costs and improve outcomes for students.“Pennsylvania’s charter school law is unfair for students, parents, school districts, and taxpayers,” said Governor Wolf. “While many charter schools are succeeding, others, especially some cyber charter schools, are underperforming and we are not doing enough to hold them accountable to the taxpaying public and the children they serve.“Today I’m announcing comprehensive charter school reform through executive action, regulation, and legislation. These changes will level the playing field for all taxpayer-funded public schools, strengthen the accountability and transparency of charter and cyber charter schools, and better serve all students.”Brick-and-mortar charter and cyber charter schools, and for-profit companies that manage many of them, are not held to the same ethical and transparency standards of traditional public schools. Despite the rising costs of charter schools to school districts and property taxpayers, school districts and state government have limited authority to hold charter schools accountable.The poor academic performance of some charter schools is also a concern. A recent report from Stanford University found overwhelmingly negative results from Pennsylvania’s cyber schools and called for the commonwealth to take urgent action.Governor Wolf’s proposal promotes innovation and choice, while ensuring that charter schools are providing a high-quality education and meeting the same standards Pennsylvanians expect from traditional public schools.Executive ActionsGovernor Wolf is tasking the Department of Education (PDE) with developing regulations to achieve the following:Access to High-Quality Education for All StudentsAllow school districts to limit student enrollment at charters that do not provide a high-quality, equitable education to students.Require transparent charter school admission and enrollment policies that do not discriminate based on intellectual or athletic ability, race/ethnicity, gender, or disability, among other student characteristics.Transparency and Accountability for All School LeadershipHold charter schools and their operators to the same transparency standards as school districts because they are public schools and receive more than $1.8 billion in state and property tax dollars annually.Require that charter school Board of Trustees and operating companies– like school district School Boards – are free from conflicts of interest and prohibit them from making decisions that provide a financial benefit to themselves, friends, and/or family members.Require charter schools to use sound fiscal management, provide regular financial audits to state regulators, publicly bid contracts for supplies and services, use fair contracting practices, and engage their communities.Provide greater oversight over charter school management companies, the businesses that often profit at the expense of Pennsylvania students and families.Establish a model state application to start a new charter school or renew an existing charter school that provides school districts with comprehensive information on how the school will be run and allow for rigorous analysis.Fair and Predictable Funding for All Public SchoolsEstablish a clear process that requires charters to accurately document their costs.Prevent charters from over charging districts and taxpayers for the educational services they provide.Accountability on Behalf of TaxpayersInitiate a fee-for-service model to cover the department’s costs associated with implementing the charter school law.Recoup taxpayer costs for thousands of hours of currently free services that the Department provides to charter schools when it reviews applications, processes millions of payments, and provides legal and administrative support.Comprehensive Charter School Reform LegislationIn addition to executive action, the governor will propose comprehensive charter school reform legislation containing the regulatory changes and would:Establish performance standards that hold charter schools accountable for the educational outcomes of students and a moratorium on new cyber charter schoolsCap student enrollment in low performing cyber charter schools until outcomes improve.Require charter management companies be subject to the Right to Know Act, State Ethics Act, and post employee salaries on PDE’s website, similar to requirements already in place for public school districts.Create fair, predictable, and equitable funding for school districts, including in the areas of special education funding and cyber charter tuition payments.Establish a charter school funding commission to make recommendations on additional charter school funding reforms.“We have some high-quality charter schools in our commonwealth and my proposal holds charters accountable to the same standards we set for traditional public schools. Through hard work and bipartisan compromise in Harrisburg, we have achieved pension reform and liquor reform. It’s time to reform the charter school law. That’s good for every child, family, and taxpayer in Pennsylvania.”The governor announced charter school reform at press conferences today in Allentown and in Pocono Summit, Monroe County. The Allentown School District’s structural budget deficit cannot be fixed without charter school reform.“Before opening the doors, a potential charter school must demonstrate community support, academic innovation and financial stability. Once the charter school is up and running, though, meaningful oversight seems to go away,” said state Rep. Peter Schweyer. “There isn’t enough accountability on how tax dollars are spent, how the kids are being taught or if they’re even learning at all. Governor Wolf’s executive actions are a big step forward to bring about meaningful oversight to protect kids in charter schools.”“One out of every six dollars spent by the Allentown School District goes to educating kids at charter schools – an increase of over 2000 percent in twenty years,” said state Rep. Mike Schlossberg. “This inequity is wildly unfair to our students, taxpayers and teachers. These moves will help control costs and increase educational opportunities for all Allentown students. I fully support these moves and appreciate the governor for having the courage to stand up for our students and taxpayers.” SHARE Email Facebook Twitter August 13, 2019center_img Gov. Wolf Acts to Ensure Charter Schools Better Serve Students and Taxpayerslast_img read more

Struggling Syracuse heads to final Big East tournament looking for fresh start, chance to build momentum

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 13, 2013 at 12:00 am Contact Ryne: On the heels of Syracuse’s brutal loss to Georgetown, Jim Boeheim took some time to reflect and reminisce on his program’s 34-season run in the Big East. Boeheim, who was at the helm from start to finish, spoke of the league’s beginnings and the rivalries that formed.He remembered the late Dave Gavitt who made the league what it was, and he laughed about all the battles the coaches had in league meetings over the years.Then, he turned his attention back to the present. Boeheim said he thinks his team is better than its 5-5 finish in the regular season – a stretch that saw the Orange drop four of its last five games – but he also admitted he’s not sure what to make of its play right now.“The great thing about New York is if you end on a bad note – which we have – we have a chance to go to New York and try to play better,” Boeheim said.Syracuse’s final run through the Big East will officially come to a close this week at the conference tournament in New York City. But as Boeheim said after a 22-point loss to the Hoyas, it represents a chance to start over and build momentum heading into the NCAA Tournament, one that begins with No. 19 SU’s (23-8, 11-7 Big East) game against Seton Hall (15-17, 3-15) at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday at 2 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe 12th-seeded Pirates beat South Florida 46-42 in overtime in the first round Tuesday night. Syracuse bested SHU 76-65 at the Prudential Center in the teams’ only meeting during the regular season in February.SU point guard Michael Carter-Williams and his teammates have been looking forward to turning the page on their historically poor performance against Georgetown since the final buzzer sounded at the Verizon Center last Saturday.“The real season starts Wednesday so I’m focused on that right now,” Carter-Williams said after his team scored 39 points – the fewest in Boeheim’s 37-year coaching career.Boeheim’s team looked lost on offense against the Hoyas’ hard-nosed defense. Carter-Williams, who finished with 17 points, was the only SU player to find success getting to the rim.Seniors Brandon Triche and James Southerland combined to go 1-for-17 from the field for three points. They couldn’t get going from the perimeter, going 0-for-5 from 3-point range, and they struggled to assert themselves in the lane.It played a large role in the embarrassing loss despite another strong performance by the 2-3 zone.“I think we’ve lost a little of our confidence offensively,” Boeheim said. “Our defense is as good as it’s been. You just can’t keep playing defense when you keep misfiring.”Triche’s confidence has taken the biggest hit during Syracuse’s struggles down the stretch.The senior has gone 40-for-115 (34.8 percent) from the field and 8-for-45 (17.8 percent) from 3-point range in the team’s last 10 games. His lone standout performance in that span came against Seton Hall, when he scored a career-high 29 points and knocked down four of his seven attempts from beyond the arc.Triche came out aggressively in that game at the Prudential Center, taking SU’s first three shots. He looked to get to the rim on drives early and didn’t hesitate letting it go from the perimeter.Triche admits he’s been thinking too much on the court during his slump, including the game against Georgetown last Saturday. His jumper has gone cold, and it’s affected his ability to get into the lane for pull-ups and easy layups.“I think sometimes we just have to hit jump shots, just loosen them up a little bit but we’re missing jump shots,” Triche said after the loss to Georgetown. “You come off a pick, somebody’s right there, you go one-on-one somebody’s like right there so it’s like they played solid one-on-one defense.”He’ll look to get back some of his confidence when he sees the Pirates on Wednesday.And Boeheim wants to see the entire team find its rhythm again. The Orange has been struggling to put points on the board in its last four losses, and it’s coming off its worst game of the season.But this week at the Garden, anything can happen.“We’ve got to play better offensively – I think we can,” Boeheim said. “We have at times and we’ll see but we’re going to New York with the idea that we can play better there and get a more positive note.“I’ve seen it happen a million times.” Commentslast_img read more

Marshall wins community service-based competition

first_imgThe Marshall School of Business won first place Sunday at Challenge 4 Charity, a yearlong competition among nine West Coast graduate business schools to accumulate the most hours of community service and raise the most money for charitable organizations.The team of Marshall MBA students won the Golden Briefcase Award, given to the team with the highest competition score, for the third year in a row. This year, the USC chapter staged 20 fundraising events, volunteered more than 5,300 hours and raised $150,000 for charity.Champions · Members of the Marshall School of Business’s Challenge 4 Charity celebrated their victory over eight West Coast graduate schools. – Photo courtesy of Marshall School of BusinessBrian Wang, co-chairman of the USC Challenge 4 Charity chapter, said the award represents the effort put forth by the entire graduate school throughout the year.“A lot of hard work and dedication goes into raising over $150,000 and volunteering over 5,300 hours of service,” Wang said. “C4C hosts the Marshall Business tailgates where all proceeds go to charity, puts on all of our business school parties, plans an alumni gala and works with Special Olympics, A Better LA and Junior Achievement to create volunteer opportunities for full-time MBA students.”The competition culminated with the Challenge 4 Charity weekend, held this year at Stanford University, where teams from each school competed in sporting events such as football, ultimate Frisbee, dodgeball and swimming. The results of the events were factored into each school’s overall competition score.Nicholas Hasara, a graduate student studying business administration, said everybody played a part in the fundraising portion and the sports aspect of the competition.“Our leadership did a great job of coordinating events with our charity organizations and getting the students to rally around the cause,” Hasara said. “For the sports aspect, we had a lot of students step up by organizing practices and getting us ready for the weekend.”Shantanu Dutta, vice dean for graduate programs at Marshall, said the victory represents the school’s achievement in social work.“Our MBA team’s success demonstrates Marshall’s commitment to developing business leaders who are working toward the greater good of society,” Dutta said.Alex Abraham, co-chairman of the USC Challenge 4 Charity chapter, said the competition is important because it makes a positive impact.“There are two main reasons why MBAs hold the golden briefcase in such high regard,” Abraham said. “One is that it represents the positive work we have collectively put in to improve the local Los Angeles community. The second reason is simply the fact that it is something every West Coast business school tries to win each year,” Abraham said. “It is a chance for USC to go head-to-head with UCLA, Stanford, Berkeley, [the University of Washington], and utterly dominate the competition.”last_img read more