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Auditor general criticizes PA Cyber Charter School urplus


February 19. 2013 8:53PM
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MCT REGIONAL NEWS
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Dec. 06-The Midland-based Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School had a $13 million surplus at the end of the 2009-10 school year, highlighting a flaw in the way the state finances charter and cyber charter schools, according to a state audit issued Thursday.
Auditor General Jack Wager is recommending that the state Department of Education and the Legislature overhaul the funding formula.
Wagner said the formula permits charter and cyber charter schools to receive far more in taxpayer money than their true cost of educating children.
The auditor generalā??s audit, which is available at www.auditorgen.state.pa.us, concluded before a federal grand jury investigation of Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School became public in July 2012.
Wagner said that PA Cyber Charterā??s surplus was the largest of any charter or cyber charter school in the state, even though the school spent more than the statewide average for administrative and business costs for charter and cyber charter schools. Those costs include an advertising campaign of nearly $2 million a year paid for with taxpayer money.
Under the current funding formula, each school district gets a set amount from the state for each pupil it educates If a student goes to a charter school or a cyber charter school, that money leaves the school district and goes with the student to the new school.


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