Oct. 04, 2019

HARRISBURG – House Education Committee Chairman Curt Sonney (R-Erie) today announced that he has introduced legislation that would require all school districts in the Commonwealth to offer full-time cyber education programs that will be accountable to local communities.

In 2002, the General Assembly authorized the creation of cyber charter schools, which are authorized at the state level. These schools are not held accountable to local communities even though local taxpayer dollars are used to support them.

“It is my intention, that this legislation, will eliminate the tension between school districts and cyber charter schools,” said Sonney. “The goal of my legislation is to offer students access to high-quality cyber education programs in a way that is accountable and transparent to local communities.”

Cyber charter schools, instead of being separate school entities, will be able to serve as third-party vendors and work with school districts to offer full-time cyber education programs. School districts will also be given the flexibility in creating their own full-time cyber education programs or work with third-party vendors such as intermediate units, cyber charter schools, institutions of higher education, other school districts, or educational entities to offer these programs. In addition, the school district must also provide at least two alternative full-time cyber programs, offered by a third-party vendor, other than the school districts intermediate unit or another school district.

“As chairman of the House Education Committee, I constantly hear concerns from constituents related to the cost and accountability of cyber charter schools,” continued Sonney. “Cyber education is an important choice parents should be able to make for their children, but local accountability is desperately needed to control the quality and cost of these programs.”

For more information on Sonney’s legislation, House Bill 1897, click here (will add link to bill summary/info once uploaded to system.)

Representative Curt Sonney
4th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Brooke Haskell