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Salisbury School Board President Takes Stand Against PA Education Department

Salisbury School Board President Russell Giordano asks board to consider a resolution expressing no confidence in the Pennsylvania Department of Education's leadership.

Salisbury School Board President Russell Giordano, criticizing how charter schools are regulated, called on the board Wednesday to consider drafting a resolution expressing "no confidence" in the Pennsylvania Department of Education's leadership.

The department of education "keeps making things harder and harder and harder for us and we should say something about it," Giordano said.

Giordano accused the state of gearing up to privatize schools.

Giordano criticized the Department of Education for what he says are double standards for charter schools, such as less rigorious standards for the PSSA and different standards to fund their budgets.

"People in Salisbury are used to not worrying about the schools, but things are getting beyond our control," he said.

Giordano said the state is constantly applying new rules and regulations for public schools to follow, but charter schools do not have such rules.

As an example, Giordano said that he knows of one charter school that is using 95 percent of its fund balance to cover its budget while public schools are only allowed to use 8 percent toward their budgets.

In addition, charter schools have much less rigid criteria for meeting average yearly progress, or on state-mandated PSSA tests than public schools, he said.

Giordano said he was outraged by the PSSA "cheating crackdown" implemented by the state.

optimist October 12, 2012 at 04:47 PM
For profit charters and cyber charters are murdering local school distircts. Look at the PA auditor general report: http://www.paessp.org/publications/press-releases/41-news-and-announcements/380-auditor-general-wagner-calls-for-charter-school-reform.html The funding formula needs to be reformed.
Mark Spengler October 12, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Giordano is right to be concerned. The issue of charter/cyber charter fairness came up at the Deely/Simmons debate last week. Deely asked Simmons directly about the some if the obvious problems and Simmons refused to answer and simply accused Deely of wanting to destroy charters. I guess we couldn't here a good discussion about how flawed the funding formula is, the fact that charter teachers are not subject to the new teacher evaluation law, and how much easier it is for charters to make AYP as compared to public schools. The very cosy relationship between Simmons and Student First may have something to do with his unwillingness to discuss the issue.

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