Jonathan Cetel is the founding executive director of PennCAN. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Late last night, legislators in Harrisburg failed yet again to reform Pennsylvania’s woefully outdated charter school law.

They let minor issues derail a compromise bill that had already been stripped of its most controversial elements.

Their inaction means that charter schools still don’t have adequate academic accountability. It means that the charter school funding formula will continue to be unfair to both charters and traditional public schools alike. But most importantly, it means that the 40,000 Pennsylvania students on charter school waiting lists still don’t have access to the high-quality options they deserve.

I am frustrated by yesterday’s outcome, but I am also inspired by the thousands of advocates who attended the charter rally at the Capitol, participated in our phone-banking session, and signed our online petition. PennCAN’s goal is to make it possible for every child in Pennsylvania to attend a great public school, and we won’t rest until this happens.


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