Justia Education Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Slippery Rock Area Sch. Dist. v. Pa. Cyber Charter Sch.
The Supreme Court granted review to determine whether a public school district was obligated to fund a kindergarten program offered by a cyber charter school for a four-year-old student when the district exercised its discretion not to offer such a program in its public schools. In 2006, the Secretary of Education notified Appellant Slippery Rock Area School District that funds had been deducted from the district's state subsidy and made payable to Appellee Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. The Secretary deducted funds because Slippery Rock failed to pay Cyber School for numerous students residing in the district who were attending Cyber School. Slippery Rock objected to the withholding of $1,716.63 for a four-year-old female student enrolled in Cyber School’s kindergarten program. Slippery Rock averred that while it operates a discretionary kindergarten program for five-year-old children, the student at issue did not meet the age requirements for admission into the district’s kindergarten program, Slippery Rock argued that it was not obligated to "assume the costs or obligation of this individual’s enrollment into [Cyber School]." The Secretary concluded that Slippery Rock could not deny payment to Cyber School simply because Slippery Rock did not have a four-year-old kindergarten program. Subsequently the Secretary granted Cyber School's motion to dismiss Slippery Rock's objection. The Commonwealth Court affirmed the Secretary, but the Supreme Court reversed the Commonwealth Court and the Secretary: "[t]o hold that Slippery Rock is obligated to fund educational opportunities for students not yet eligible to attend the district’s public schools would allow those students who enroll in Cyber School to receive greater benefits than a similarly-situated student who chooses to attend the public school." View "Slippery Rock Area Sch. Dist. v. Pa. Cyber Charter Sch." on Justia Law