Cyber Charter Impact

January 21, 2020

District Stakeholders,

The Susquehanna Community School District is significantly impacted by the loss of funding to commercial cyber charter schools. Currently, the school district has 27 students enrolled in commercial cyber charter schools resulting in over $500,000 in funding being taken from the school district to pay for the enrollment of these 27 students. Commercial cyber charter schools are not free and are funded explicitly by taking funding directly from the public school districts of the Commonwealth. The loss of this funding is resulting in deficit spending by the school district.

The Board of Education has discussed the loss of funding and must act, as annual deficit spending by the school district cannot be maintained. The Board of Education is considering the future elimination of the district’s Four-Year-Old Kindergarten program, a program that benefits approximately 55 students each school year, and other valuable programs that help the children in our local community. Before the Board of Education acts on deciding to eliminate or maintain these programs, the Board is respectfully asking the parents/guardians of students attending commercial cyber charter schools to enroll their child(ren) in the Susquehanna Community School District’s cyber program. By enrolling their child(ren) in the district’s cyber program, the district would be able to save valuable programs.

Every parent wants the best education possible for their child. On November 15, 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Education released the 2019 academic performance score for each school in the Commonwealth. Susquehanna Community Elementary School scored a 70 and the Jr./Sr. High School scored a 69.5. Cyber charter scores did not even come close to reaching these levels of performance. Some of the cyber charter scores for 2019 are as follows: Achievement House Cyber Charter School - 46.6, Commonwealth Charter Academy - 44.5, and Agora Cyber - 44.1. Based upon these results, the quality of education provided by the Susquehanna Community School District will prepare students for a successful future and is superior to the education being provided by commercial cyber charter schools.

The Susquehanna Community School District’s cyber program provides those students seeking a cyber option with a quality education. The program supplies all necessary technology equipment; welcomes participating students to partake in school activities, field trips, tutoring, meal programs, etc.; reimburses allowable Internet costs; provides for a smooth transition should the student decide to re-enroll in our brick and mortar public schools; and upon completion of the district’s cyber program, students graduate with a Susquehanna Community High School Diploma.

The Board of Education is united in our desire to have children currently enrolled in commercial cyber charter schools to enroll in the school district’s cyber program and in our mission to keep our valuable programs operating for the benefit of all children in our local communities.

Thank you,

SCSD Board of Education