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Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

State representative Joseph Ciresi discusses charter school spending

School+Board+meets+for+a+recognization+meeting+held+at+the+North+Penn+Educational+Services+Center+on+December+4th%2C+2023.%0A
Kate Miller
School Board meets for a recognization meeting held at the North Penn Educational Services Center on December 4th, 2023.

LANSDALE- October’s finance and work session meetings were held at the North Penn School District Educational Services Center on Tuesday, October 10th. The finance committee meeting hosted PA state representative Joseph Ciresi and discussed House Bill 1422 regarding charter schools.

Mr. Steve Skrocki, Chief financial officer, started the meeting by introducing North Penn High School’s newest student representative, Muhtasim Sagiv, a senior and treasurer of the Student Government Association.

At the last meeting, Mr. Ronald Linke and Skrocki discussed the preliminary estimates for the 22-23 fiscal year. It is now confirmed that the projected expenses come in under the expected budget at around 3.2% or 9.7 million dollars. The revenues are projected to be over budget at 3.4% or 10.1 million dollars. The district can decide if they would like to transfer the money that was underspent to the Capital Reserve Fund but may not transfer more than 9.7 million dollars in order to not overspend the General Fund budget. The committee recommends transferring 8 million dollars to the capital reserve fund and letting the remaining funds flow into the fund balance, an exact number will be provided during the next finance meeting being held on November 8th. 

Towards the beginning of the meeting, a video of Pennsylvania state representative Joseph Ciresi was played, explaining his work on House Bill 1422 regarding charter schools. The video explains that “half a billion dollars is being overspent at charter schools.” In this video, Ciresi talks about finally freezing senior taxes and the importance of reinvesting in our communities.

“School Choice is not leaving with this bill, but we are making it more equitable,” Ciresi explained.

Later in the night, Ciresi joined the board to discuss the board he has been doing with House Bill 1422 and its importance. The purpose of this bill was to separate brick and mortar schools from cyber schools. In many populated cities, like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, parents are enrolling their children in for-profit cyber schools. Many believe that an excess of tax-payers money is going into these schools. To help develop new tuition of $8,000 for charter schools, representatives took the median of former governor Tom Wolfe’s $9,000 estimate and a combination of many school districts’ $3,000-6,000 statistics from over the pandemic. This bill also makes the costs of special education programs the same tiered costs that the district is paying. Other changes are the application process, the lottery process, and discrimination rules. As of right now, the senate has not moved forward with the bill, but Ciresi urges citizens to communicate with their senators the importance of this bill. The North Penn School District has 5 million dollars dedicated to cyber schools this fiscal school year, but with this bill, they could save an estimated 2.4 million dollars. For more information on the bill, visit this page or view the presentation shared at the meeting.

North Penn’s transportation contract with First Student is ending this fiscal year, requiring an updated contract for the first time in 5 years. An RFP, a request for approval, must be conducted to renew this contract. The new RFP will also be a 5-year contract with an option for a 6th and 7th year as well. This topic will be reviewed at the October 19th action meeting.

At September’s finance meeting, the projected act 1 index was shared, which has now been officially certified at 5.3%, the highest it has ever been. Last month, the committee did recommend the resolution not to exceed the Act 1 Index. This topic will be reviewed at the October 19th action meeting.

Student representatives Giuseppe Schiano Di Cola and Sagiv shared the success of North Penn High School’s homecoming event, future networking and fundraising opportunities, and the new online ticketing system for North Penn sports games. 

All motions were carried out for review for the upcoming action meeting taking place on October 19th, 2023. Other information can be found in BoardDocs.

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Kate Miller, Executive Editor

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