A charter school is a tuition-free school that is publicly funded but independently run. “In exchange for exemptions from many of the state laws and regulations that govern traditional public schools, charters are bound to the terms of a contract, or ‘charter,’ that lays out a school’s mission, academic goals, fiscal guidelines, and accountability requirements. On the other side of a charter contract is an authorizer—such as a state agency, a university, or a school district, depending on the state—that has the power to shut down charter schools that do not meet the terms of their contracts.”  Souderton Area School District granted a conditional 5-year renewal of the Souderton Charter School Collaborative (SCSC) charter on December 19, 2019. The details and conditions can be found on the District’s website. 
For some families, the SCSC fills a need that is not being met by SASD. It is important to engage in discussion with these families to better understand how these needs could be met by SASD Schools or to direct them to services that they may not know already exist.
The funding structure of Charter Schools in Pennsylvania is determined by the PA Legislature. Currently, local school districts fund the vast majority of the Charter School costs. It is clear that this is unsustainable in order to keep taxes low for our community, and that funding reform is needed. This reform will only happen at the state level, so it is important to contact state legislators to advocate for charter school funding reform.
Charter schools should be held to the same standard as public schools in terms of teacher certification and benefits. Their admission process should be transparent, and their student achievement, indicating quality of education, must be made public. These standards are controlled by PA State Legislators, and not School Board Directors.
Our candidates support funding and accountability reform at the state level. They also support open dialogue with the SCSC and mutual efforts to improve the quality of education in both SASD and the SCSC. A positive working relationship is key to meeting this goal.