Charter schools continue to be a hot topic for parents, teachers and students in Pennsylvania. On one side, supporters of these educational alternatives want to ensure that they have a choice when it comes to where they want to send their kids to school. On the other side, critics want to take a closer look at how these institutions are run, with Gov. Tom Wolf in particular seeking to make sweeping changes with his reform plans. Since we’ll no doubt be hearing more and more about this heated education issue as the months go on, we decided to take a by the numbers look at the state of charter schools in the Commonwealth.
1. 180 – According to a recent article by PennLive, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a total of 180 charter schools currently operating in the state.
2. 87 – According to numbers by the Charter Schools Office of the School District of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love has a total of 87 “brick-and-mortar” charter schools for the 2019-2020 school year.
3. 137,000 – The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has approximately 140,000 students enrolled in charter schools throughout the state, according to a recent article by PennLive.
4. 70,000 – The number of students who attend charter schools in Philadelphia is approximately 70,000, according to statistics by the Charter Schools Office of the School District of Philadelphia for the 2019-2020 school year.
5. $1.8 billion – Hannah Barrick, assistant executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials, told The Philadelphia Inquirer in August that Pennsylvania school districts paid $1.8 billion to charters last year.
6. 15 – The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania currently has 15 cyber charter schools operating in the state, according to data by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
7. $0 – Like traditional public schools, resident or nonresident students pay no tuition in order to attend a charter school.