Philly School District says it's paying charters too much for special-education students

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The School District of Philadelphia says it's overpaying charter schools for educating students with special needs. At the heart of the issue is the state's formula governing how charters get funding for special education.

The district pays charters for special-education students based on an average of what the district spends to educate its own special-education students. District Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson told the school board's finance and facilities committee Thursday that, because the district has a higher percentage of needier — and more expensive — students, there could be an incentive for charters to enroll less-needy special-education students to receive more compensation at the higher rate.

"How does the money being sent correlate to the cost of providing those services to students? And what the governor's proposal would do is more closely correlate those two pieces," Monson said.

According to Monson, the governor's proposal would save the district $90 million next year.