Senate Votes to Block Wolf Administration’s Overreaching Charter School Regulations

HARRISBURG – The Senate voted yesterday to block Gov. Tom Wolf’s overreaching charter school regulations after his administration misused the regulatory process to avoid brokering an agreement with lawmakers. 

“His plan is clearly aimed at punishing and eventually eliminating charter schools and not making necessary reforms to preserve educational choice in the Commonwealth” Senator Mensch said. 

The vote on House Concurrent Regulatory Review Resolution 1 comes after the administration didn’t adequately address concerns raised during the public comment process and instead committed to final regulations that run contrary to the intent of existing charter school law.

The Department of Education’s proposed list of wide-ranging policy changes through the regulatory process could, in effect, jeopardize the educational futures of thousands of low-income, minority and special education students through burdensome, unfunded mandates, Mensch said.

Many of these regulations serve as backdoor attempts to implement some of the administration’s own policy preferences, including enrollment caps, onerous application standards and one-size-fits-all health benefit requirements that will shutter operations for many smaller charters. This is egregious considering the vulnerable students these schools primarily serve, Mensch said.

There is bipartisan interest in making reforms to our current charter laws. Frustration over the process does not justify circumventing the legislature.

CONTACT: Lidia Di Fiore ldifiore@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388