Cyber schools affecting school districts' budgets

The cost and quality of cyber schools are posing a challenge to school districts throughout the state including the St. Marys Area School District. "The public needs to be made aware that cyber schools are not free. Those students going to cyber school are causing your taxes to go up. They truly are, because it is draining the basic subsidy of all school districts," Superintendent Ann Kearney said. Currently there are 39 students in the district enrolled in cyber schools at a cost of $300,000 to the district. This does not include SMASD's Dutch Academy's 19 full-time students, who if enrolled in traditional cyber school would cost the district an additional $190,000.