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Backpack Full of Cash

Backpack Full of Cash is a feature-length documentary that explores the growing privatization of public schools and the resulting impact on America’s public schools. We hope that this documentary can help our community better understand cyber charter schools and vouchers, and put a human face on the consequences of these policies. 

According to a report recently released by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO), the statewide cyber charter school enrollment has increased by roughly 24,000 students in 2020-21 and, as a result, school districts likely will pay about $465 million more in charter school tuition this school year than last year, further straining budgets already stretched thin by the pandemic. 

As one of the fastest growing mandated costs that school districts have to grapple with, charter school tuition costs increase each year as a result of the charter school tuition calculation itself and increased charter school enrollment. In fact, charter school tuition costs increased by $1.4 billion between 2013-14 and 2018-19. And since there is no state funding or subsidy to school districts for charter school tuition costs, these cost increases are largely paid for by property taxes—with the average school district spending (after covering increases in special education costs) 44 cents of each $1 of new property taxes between 2013-14 and 2018-19 on charter school tuition increases alone.

Thanks to a grant from the Parkland Education Foundation, starting on November 28 anyone in the Parkland community may register to stream this documentary for free, but tickets are limited to the first 200 people who apply on or after that date. 

To register,  please go to and enter the code Parkland.  NOTE:  Registration will not work until November 28, 2020 at 8 AM.

This will enable you to rent the film for free, during a 72-hour period that begins once the promo code is entered. The video is for this screening only and may not be downloaded, copied or shared.

For additional information please visit the companion website for the film at

Frequently Asked Questions about the documentary can be found here.