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Future legislation could freeze cyber charter school enrollment

One lawmaker says, cyber charter school enrollments during the pandemic could financially burden school districts

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A state lawmakers plans to introduce a bill that would freeze enrollment at cyber charter schools. As the school year remains uncertain, more and more parents are switching their kids over to cyber charter schools or charter schools with better online learning options during the pandemic than their current school districts.

This memo was sent to all state representatives, asking them to support legislation to put a freeze on cyber charter school enrollment.

"I don't think it's necessary," said Patricia Rosetti, PA Distance Learning CEO.

Because districts must pay charter school's money for each student enrolled, State Rep. Stephen McCarter, who's planning to introduce the bill said in his memo, "As our public school’s plan to reopen schools in the fall in a safe and orderly manner we need to ensure that cost for cyber charter school tuition does not become overwhelming in the process."

"The cyber charter schools are more than willing to work with districts to help them," said Rosetti. "And I think the school districts are trying really hard and want to do well at what they do and I'm sure if we collaborated they would be very successful." 

Rosetti says, putting a freeze on charter school enrollments would hurt parents and students looking for another learning option in the middle of a pandemic. 

"Inquiries about cyber charter schools are definitely up this year and I believe it's because of the uncertainty and the safety features they're worried about," said Rosetti. "We saw the increase begin around July 1st, and it has not stopped it's just increasing with each new release and each school's plan going out." 

Rosetti says, there's now an increase in interest from parents with kids in districts that have yet to put forth a solid plan for the upcoming school year.