Parents choose cyber schools because they are filling needs

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The Jan. 8 Perspectives piece by Adam Schott ("Time Out on Cyber Charters") highlights an important issue in public education but is an incomplete and misleading summary of Pennsylvania cyber education. The piece omitted that:

Cyber schools, on average, educate students for 30 percent less than taxpayers pay school districts.

The snapshot of cyber school performance does not consider that many parents choose cyber schools because their children are failing in the traditional school system and come to the cybers two to three years behind in reading and math.

The costs of running cyber schools are not the same as brick-and-mortar schools, but there are more common costs than most people realize and significant costs cybers incur that brick-and-mortar schools do not.

Charter school growth is approximately 10 percent annually. Too many traditional educators are condemning charters rather than asking why parents are increasingly choosing charters for their children and changing to address those parents' needs.

Unquestionably, there are a multitude of issues that should be addressed to improve K-12 education statewide, but the reasonable educators and legislators must change the discussion from condemnation to cooperation and place the children's welfare at the apex of their priorities.

BOB FAYFICH
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools
West Chester, Pa.


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