CPDLF is Not Expensive: It's Public Education

In the realm of education, perceptions often shape realities, and unfortunately, one persistent misconception is that cyber school is an expensive alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. At CPDLF (Cyber Pennsylvania Digital Learning Foundation), which operates as a fully online K-12 public school, nothing could be further from the truth. 

We’re Not Allowed to Say the “F Word”

CPDLF is not “free.” In fact, no public school in Pennsylvania is free. Someone is paying for it even when there is no tuition bill for families to pay. The “someone” we’re referring to is all of us: we pay for public education through our taxes. So while we would love to say “CPDLF is free!,” to be completely factually accurate we say things like, “CPDLF is tuition free” or that there’s no additional cost to attend. Thanks to taxpayers, we are able to offer your children a quality public education in a virtual environment.

Despite offering a quality education that rivals traditional schooling, CPDLF faces the uphill battle of dispelling the notion that it comes with a hefty price tag. Read on to see how we aim to debunk this myth and shed light on the reality: CPDLF is not a costly private institution but rather an accessible public educational option funded by federal, state, and local sources.

Understanding Our Public Cyber School

Before delving into the financial aspects, let's first understand what a public cyber school entails. CPDLF offers a comprehensive K-12 education entirely online. Students attend classes, complete assignments, and interact with teachers and peers through virtual platforms. This mode of education provides flexibility, personalized learning experiences, and opportunities for students who may thrive in non-traditional settings due to various reasons such as health concerns, geographical constraints, or learning styles.

CPDLF is a public school. Emphasizing the term "public" is crucial because it underscores the fundamental principle that education is a right accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic status or background. As a public school, CPDLF adheres to state academic standards, follows the same curriculum guidelines as traditional public schools, and is accountable to state and federal regulations governing education.

Dispelling the Cost Myth

One of the most pervasive myths surrounding a cyber school like CPDLF is that they come with a hefty tuition fee akin to private schools. This misconception stems from a lack of understanding about the funding mechanisms that sustain public education in the United States. It's imperative to clarify that CPDLF does not charge tuition to families. Instead, its operations are funded through a combination of federal, state, and local sources, much like traditional public schools.

Federal Funding

The federal government plays a significant role in funding public education, including CPDLF. Various grant programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education provide financial support to schools like CPDLF. These funds may be allocated for specific purposes such as improving educational outcomes, enhancing technology infrastructure, or supporting students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. While federal funding may not cover the entirety of a school's operational costs, it constitutes a vital component of the overall funding framework.

State Funding

State governments are primary contributors to public education funding. Each state employs its own formula-based approach to allocate funds to school districts. Funding formulas typically take into account factors such as student enrollment, district demographics, and local property tax revenue. CPDLF does not receive funding from the state unless it is in the form of a grant. 

Local Funding

Local communities also play a role in funding public schools, albeit to a lesser extent compared to federal and state sources. Property taxes levied within school districts contribute to local funding for education. The school district determines the cost per student in their district and this information (called “tuition”) is passed along to all brick-and-mortar and cyber charter schools. Charter schools then bill the district their given tuition rate. 

Additional Revenue Sources

In addition to government funding, public schools like CPDLF may generate revenue through various sources. These can include donations, grants from private organizations or foundations, and fees for certain services or extracurricular activities. However, it's essential to note that such revenue streams are in addition to federal, state, and local sources and don’t represent primary sources of funding.

Technology & Internet Access: CPDLF Can Help

At CPDLF, we understand that access to the latest technology shouldn't be a barrier to quality education. That's why we ensure that families of CPDLF students don't need to budget for new laptops, webcams, microphones, and other expensive gadgets; we provide Chromebooks to all enrolled students. For families facing connectivity challenges, CPDLF also offers assistance to ensure that every student can access the virtual classroom environment without limitations*. By removing these technological barriers, we strive to create an inclusive learning environment where all students have the opportunity to thrive academically, regardless of their socioeconomic background or technological resources at home.


The notion that cyber schools like CPDLF are expensive private institutions is a misconception that undermines the accessibility and affordability of public education - even in a virtual setting. CPDLF operates as a fully online K-12 public school, providing students with quality education at no additional tuition cost to families. By understanding the funding mechanisms that sustain public education and debunking myths surrounding cyber school costs, we can promote greater awareness and appreciation for the diverse educational options available to students and families in Pennsylvania. Education is not a privilege reserved for the affluent but a fundamental right accessible to all, and CPDLF’s virtual public school design exemplifies this principle in action.


*There are some areas where even cell phones and hotspots cannot provide a strong enough internet connection for the student to be successful. We strive to ensure access but we are limited by the available technology and connection.