Pennsylvania Charter Schools Adopt New Code of Accountability

By Kurutz, Daveen Rae | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 27, 2009 | Go to article overview

Pennsylvania Charter Schools Adopt New Code of Accountability


Kurutz, Daveen Rae, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Pennsylvania charter school officials on Thursday released a Code of Accountability that promises transparency as they fight for equal- funding rights.

The code, which focuses on academic, ethical and financial accountability, was developed by the Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools in West Chester, which represents 120 of the state's 127 charter schools.

"Truth and accountability goes both ways," said Larry Jones, CEO of Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School in Philadelphia. "And we have the right to ask one simple question: Who decided that our students were worth only 70 percent of what other schools receive?"

Charter schools are public schools managed by parent, community or educational groups and given a charter to operate by school districts. They are not bound by many traditional mandates, which gives them more freedom in how they teach students. But that freedom comes at a price, as schools are not eligible to apply for any public grants.

They receive their funding from the school districts in which the students live. Charter schools receive 70 percent of the per-pupil cost of the student's home district. Funding is set at that level because charter schools require fewer resources, including buildings and staff, compared to traditional public schools, said Leah Harris, spokeswoman for the state Department of Education. …

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