With the June 30th state budget deadline looming, negotiations in Harrisburg are heating up. Lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday and are scheduled to be in session every day through June 30th.

Advocates in every corner of the commonwealth have been working hard for many, many months to make the case that lawmakers must #FinishTheJob and support funding for public schools that will bring Pennsylvania closer to constitutional compliance. We will keep you updated on any actions you can take in the upcoming days to help get the budget that public school students deserve across the finish line.

In addition, Ed Voters has been working hard to help ensure that substantial cyber charter reform will finally make it across the finish line as part of the budget this year.

Earlier this week, we joined with allies from Rock the Capital to highlight the need for members of the Pennsylvania Senate to join their bipartisan colleagues in the House and support reforms to Pennsylvania’s charter school law. This much-needed reform will both rein in gross overpayments to cyber charter schools and ensure that the cyber charter sector will be accountable and transparent to the public.

Three months ago advocates from Rock the Capital began attending the monthly board meetings of Commonwealth Charter Academy. They found that Pennsylvania’s largest cyber charter school demonstrates a flagrant disregard for transparency and conceals information from the public about how they spend tax dollars.

Click HERE to read the PennLive article.

Key information exposed during the June 12th meeting includes that Commonwealth Charter Academy:

✅ Had more than $222 million in cash on hand in April, information it excluded from public board materials.

✅ Spent over $450K on marketing costs in April.

✅ Redacted from its board materials information on 380 vendors, to whom it paid a total of more than $180K.

✅ Spent nearly $80K on legal and lobbying costs in one month.

✅ Spent more than $200,000 in only one month for vehicle “upfitting” and purchases.

✅ Approved more than $50 million in construction costs in April and May.

Click HERE to read our letter to Auditor General Timothy DeFoor that explains in detail the egregious findings.

The time for cyber charter reform is now.

It is fiscally irresponsible for the General Assembly to allow cyber charter schools to continue wasting and hoarding hundreds of millions of dollars each year while they make a mockery of our state law by operating with virtually no accountability to taxpayers.

The Senate must join the bipartisan group of their colleagues in the House who have already voted for accountability.