McKeesport – Sept. 4, 2019 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) welcomed Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to Twin Rivers Elementary School today to discuss the governor’s comprehensive plan to reform charter schools.
“Our laws governing the operations of charter and cyber-charter schools need to be reformed. We need to bring greater accountability and transparency so that our children are well educated, and our taxpayers protected,” Brewster said.
“For too long, charter operations have been cloaked in secrecy with the law having multiple loopholes and little oversight capability.”
The governor’s plan is a multi-part effort including executive actions to re-write charter regulations and push comprehensive charter reform legislation.
The governor’s plan includes instituting greater transparency in admissions and enrollment policies to halt discrimination, opening charter school operations, mandating ethical standards for charter boards, new auditing and oversight to prevent overcharging taxpayers.
Brewster has long been a legislative champion of charter school reform. For several sessions, he has offered sweeping charter reform bills to rein in out-of-control cyber and brick-and-mortar charter schools. His legislation includes greater oversight by local school districts, financial accountability and built-in protections for taxpayers.
“As a long-time advocate for charter reform, I believe the governor has offered responsible administrative changes and proposed meaningful legislative solutions. Charters need to complement, not compete with, traditional public schools.”
Charter schools should work in concert with traditional public schools and their operations need to be coordinated with local school districts, Brewster said.
The lawmaker also pointed to needed changes in the statewide charter appeal board to improve the charter school law.
Brewster said he was pleased to welcome the governor to the Mon Valley and thanked the governor for making charter reform a priority.