Wolf orders change to Pennsylvania's charter regulations; operators fire back  

Mike DeNardo
August 18, 2019 - 4:00 am

Courtesy of Governor Tom Wolf/Flickr

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf wants more accountability from charter schools, and he's taking executive action to change the state's charter regulations. But charter operators are saying "not so fast."

The governor's executive order would allow school districts to cap enrollment at charters that aren't providing a "high-quality, equitable" education. It would also allow for more oversight of charter management companies.

"I want to create a level playing field for all taxpayer-funded public schools," Wolf said. "I want to increase the quality and accountability of the charter school system."

The governor is proposing new legislation that would establish charter performance standards, and place a moratorium on new cyber charter schools. Charter schools are publicly funded but independently run. 

David Hardy, who founded Boys Latin Charter in Philadelphia and is the executive director of Excellent Schools PA, says Wolf should demand accountability from all schools.

"The governor is trying to make it seem like if we fixed these things, we've done something to fix public education," Hardy said. "I think that is a fallacy."

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools said it seemed Wolf was abusing his authority, and that it was prepared to challenge the governor's actions in court.