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KC board should renew SVRCS charter

WILLIAM HOEY

Middleburg

I am writing this letter in support of Sugar Valley Charter School (SVRCS) having its charter renewed. Tonight, Nov. 6, the Keystone Central School Board will

meet to vote on whether to renew the charter for SVRCS. Unfortunately, I think Keystone Central has already telegraphed which way this is headed by them tabling a motion to pay the tuition that is currently due to SVRCS without any explanation as to why. I hope I am wrong on this as I strongly encourage KCSD Board of Directors to renew the charter.

One thing that is true is that not all children learn the same way. What works best for most children might not work well for another. Just because one way works best for most does not mean that the child who is not getting should suffer. SVRCS is an excellent choice for those students who are falling behind in the traditional classroom setting. The smaller class size, interaction between student and teacher, and an entire staff that really cares, create an environment that is more conducive for them to be successful. The offerings for both academics and extra-curricular continue to expand providing even more opportunity of a well-rounded education.

If it is test scores they want to point at, you cannot define a child’s success or failure over the course of a state-wide standardized test given every year. Like I stated earlier not every child learns the same way and every child does not test the same way.

A lot of factors go into how a chi ld will score on test depending on that child’s state of mind on the day of the testing. Measuring academic success should be how a child learns and grows over the course of the school year and not the result of one test.

What it probably boils down to is control of the money. Each school is allotted funding based on the Average Daily Membership (ADM) of all the children residing in that district. KCSD receives funding based on that number whether the child attends school within that district or not. In case of the children who opt for SVRCS, Keystone forwards about 80% of that amount to the charter school for that child. If they look at this as a loss of revenue, it is not because the way Harrisburg wrote the law, the funding follows the child and does not belong to the district.

I am sure if they vote to close the school down, they are hoping for the return of the funding that is going to SVRCS. My gut feeling is that is not going to happen. The parents of the students currently attending there have already made the decision that what is going on in their home districts is not working for their child. The law in Pennsylvania gives families the right to choose and I am sure they will seek out other school alternatives rather than return to schools that were failing their children.

Here is a great idea for the board at KCSD. You can renew the charter and reach out and show support for SVRCS. Get rid of the animosity and lead by example for the rest of the state on how school districts and charter schools should work together for what is best for the kids. Do what is right for these 500 kids and renew SVRC’s charter.

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