Charter school reform needed

As seniors living in Lewisburg, who just received a hefty property tax bill and as professional social workers who have counseled troubled teens attending cyber charter schools, we implore you to vote yes for SB 34 and HB 526. Voting yes, as you know, transfers responsibility from school districts to parents to pay for cyber charter school tuition when districts have an in-house, cyber charter school.

After reading several articles in The Standard-Journal featuring school superintendents in Milton, Warrior Run, Lewisburg and Mifflinburg, we were shocked to learn how much money is spent on cyber charter school tuition for so few students. Superintendent Dr. Steven Skalka said the Lewisburg district will spend $363,920.96 to educate 25 students in outside cyber schools this academic year. Superintendent Dr. Alan Hack said that Warrior Run will spend upwards of $500,000 in outside, cyber school tuition to educate 34 students in 2019-2020. That’s a lot of money!

In our experience, we have seen poor results from cyber charter school in our work with troubled youth. For example, opportunities for working out conflicts with peers, teachers and administrators are diminished and social isolation contributes to worsening mental health symptoms such as excessive sleeping and avoidance of doing the hard work needed to learn and succeed in school.

The newspaper articles make it clear that the districts themselves do a better and much less expensive job of educating students through their in-house, cyber school programs. For one thing, truancy among cyber school students is a problem. If the student attends cyber school at school, this problem can be monitored and addressed more effectively.

We firmly believe that parents should pay for their kids’ outside, cyber charter school tuition if their district has such a program in place.

Please vote yes for SB 34 and HB 526.

Mary Lotspeich and Chuck Confer,

Lewisburg

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Helping heroes

I help to organize the Veterans Day program in Mifflinburg, where we also tie in a benefit for the VA Nursing Home in Hollidaysburg.

Our pledge is to not only honor veterans but to actually do something tangible to help them. After years of aiding them I now receive their newsletter and recently a story of the residents doing arts and crafts. This got the wheels turning and we decided to do a mid-year donation of supplies they need. Might also add that we have an amazing young girl at Mazeppa Union Church that wants to help us in our efforts.

Olivia, her parents and I plan to make the delivery in mid-May and who knows, maybe this will turn into a yearly event. What we are looking for are blank canvases, acrylic paints and paint brushes of all sizes.In addition to these things, 1/35 scale model kits of cars, planes, trains and military. Like our fall benefit we will also accept monetary donations along with gift cards from Giant, Walmart and Weis.

To make any donations feel free to contact me at mazeppa@ptd.net and please visit our facebook page UNION COUNTY WW2 HONOR ROLL — MIFFLINBURG PA. Again our pledge in Mifflinburg is to honor and aid our heroes where every day is Veterans day!

Doug Walter,

Linntown

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Your opinion counts! Please write to: Letters to the Editor, The Standard-Journal 21 Arch St., Milton, PA 17847 or email newsroom@standard-journal.com.

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