LEWISBURG — A resolution which called on the state legislature to adopt “meaningful” charter school funding reform measures was approved Thursday night by Lewisburg Area School District (LASD) directors.
The resolution concluded districts pay too much for a student to attend a charter school because a state funding formula was based on district expenses rather than those of the charter school. The amount of tuition paid by different districts for the same charter school education thus varies.
The measure noted it makes no difference whether the charter school is a brick-and-mortar institution or a cyber charter school. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association has similarly sought charter school reform.
The measure passed 5-4 without discussion after lengthy debate at previous meetings.
Directors Mary Brouse, Corey Heath, Dr. Erin Jablonski, Mary Ann Stanton and Dr. Virginia Zimmerman voted in favor. Directors Lisa Clark, Board President Jordan Fetzer, Dr. Tera Unzicker-Fassero and John Rowe voted against.
Previous comments favored entering the state-level debate on behalf of taxpayers in a district where so much revenue needs to be generated locally. Advocating for reform, it was noted at the time, did not conflict with the board’s responsibility for district finances.
Comments in opposition included maintaining non-partisanship, a principle on which many school directors choose to run and serve without pay. Backing a resolution, it was also noted at the time, may also give the impression that the board was against school choice.
Elsewhere, a motion was defeated which would have allowed Hosterman Creative to continue to use the Lewisburg Green Dragon logo on graduation yard signs offered to families for a fee. It would have been effective retroactively from March 1, 2020 to June 30 of this year.
Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Polinchock noted the logo was a copyrighted image. Commonly distributed yard signs, often paid for by a realtor, are usually available at no charge but do not have a photo or logo.
During discussion it was recalled that the commercially-produced yard signs with photos of students were offered amid the unusual senior year faced by the Class of 2020. But it was also noted that the owner of Hosterman Creative stopped offering the signs after realizing the logo was a copyrighted image.
The 6-3 vote included Zimmerman, Brouse, Clark, Fetzer, heath and Jablonski voting against, while Rowe, Stanton and Unzicker-Fassero voting in favor.