Save My Special Education Student

Dear Governor Corbett,
We are placing this letter in the newspaper to publicly plead with you not to cut the funding for the most vulnerable and needy segment of our public education community – Special Education Students in Charter Schools.

There is legislation (HB 2138 - PA Republican Legislator Bernie O'Neill, Bucks County & SB1316, Republican Senator Pat Browne, Allentown) that is under consideration.  If passed this legislation would cut in half the money that currently follows the student from the home district to his or her charter school of choice.  This same legislation would keep the funding for traditional school districts intact and in some cases increase that funding.

The cuts to Charter Schools are so deep that in locations like Philadelphia, many Charter Schools will be forced to close because they will not have sufficient funding to fulfill the Special Education Contracts the schools have with their Special Ed Families.
These bills were hastily introduced and voted on to avoid any public attention, debate, amendments or press.  We believe that this was purposeful because this is an election year and it is hard to assault the weak when the lights are on. 

The funding in these bills that would be cut from the Charter School Special Ed Programs would not be applied to other needy students, but rather would end up in the bloated reserve funds of most school districts.

Nathan Benefield, vice president of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation,on March 14, 2014, before the Auditor General DePasquale testified that:

  • β€œIn 2011-12, school districts increased their reserve funds by $300 million to $3.5 billion. More than half of all school districts (255 to be precise) have Unassigned Fund Balances in excess of 8 percent of their spending, and 112 have Unassigned Fund Balances greater than 12 percent of annual expenditures.”

Governor, you have the power to do what is right for those who have no union, no lobby industry, no special interest group and no political voice.  They are the weak, the vulnerable, often the poor and sometimes the under educated.  They have chosen to place their child in a school that is serving their Special Education children well.  Please do not punish them simply because the rich and the powerful have access to your office and can provide money for your re-election campaign.


The thousands of Special Education Parents who care about education choice.