Earlier this year, Governor Wolf condemned thousands of low- and middle-income students to failing schools by vetoing an expansion of school choice. While offering rhetoric that a zip code shouldn’t determine the quality of a student’s education, his veto guaranteed that children will be trapped in failing schools. Governor Wolf is attacking public charter schools again. Given his loyalty to the teachers’ unions and their financial support of his electoral campaigns, his actions should not come as a surprise.
An analysis published by the Reason Foundation gets into the details, and thoroughly debunks Governor Wolf’s stated goals, versus what his actions will accomplish. Here is one of the more eye-popping sections:
“The governor’s plan calls to ‘prevent charters from overcharging school districts and taxpayers’ to achieve ‘fair funding.’ This recommendation has it completely backward. According to the most recent data from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, district-run public schools spend $19,242 per child and public charter schools spend $14,113 per child. That’s right, public charter schools spend $5,129, or 27 percent, less per pupil than district-run public schools.
“This large funding disparity is especially disturbing considering public charter schools serve over double the proportion of students of color and 1.3 times the proportion of economically disadvantaged students compared to district-run schools.
“Systematically underfunding historically disadvantaged groups obviously isn’t fair. So why would anyone think it would be fair to increase these funding inequities?” (Emphasis added)
Governor Wolf’s veto in June and his continued assault on public charter schools are actions that send a clear message. That message is that the desire of the teachers’ unions to maintain a monopoly on education is more important than helping students in failing schools. While his rhetoric says one thing, the result of his actions makes his message abundantly clear.