Charter School Participation Increases in Upper St. Clair
The superintendent expressed frustration Monday night.
The Upper St. Clair School Board reviewed the increasing costs of cyber charter and charter schools Monday night.
In 2007-08, the district had to pay more than $80,000 in charter school tuition for 10 Upper St. Clair students.
In 2011-12, the district had to spend more than $285,000 in charter school tuition for 29 Upper St. Clair students.
Two of the students in 2011-12 were in special education cyber charter school programs.
Home-schooled students switching to cyber schools might be attributing to the increase of charter school students in Upper St. Clair, Superintendent Patrick O'Toole said.
The district must pay tuition for the students who decide to go to charter school instead of Upper St. Clair schools, according to Upper St. Clair School District administrators. The district also loses out on state funding for the charter students.
O'Toole expressed frustration—calling it a "broken funding structure."
"Then a lot of that money goes to (charter school) advertising to recruit more students," he said.
Charter students must also be allowed to participate in Upper St. Clair School District athletics.
The charter school tuition rates are established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education each year, and are based on each school district's finances, according to the USC administrators.
The board reviewed the numbers while preparing for the 2013-14 school budget.