News & Notes:  

Are Cyber School Students Second-Class Citizens?

Aug30

As a 2009 graduate of Commonwealth Connections Academy—one of 16 cyber schools in Pennsylvania—I’m very worried about some recent news articles that seem to treat the more than 35,000 students who choose cyber education as second-class citizens.     Continue reading at: http://www.commonwealthfoundation.org/policyblog/detail/are-cyber-school-students-second-class-citizens More »

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Philly teacher’s union takes stand on salary cuts

Aug29

PHILADELPHIA — With the state-run Philadelphia School District seeking deep salary cuts from its teachers, negotiations on a new labor contract appeared far from an agreement Wednesday, just a few days before the current contract expires. Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2013/08/28/3759314/philly-teachers-union-takes-stand.html More »

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PA Cyber Charter School founder Trombetta pleads not guilty to fraud, tax charges

Aug28

Cyber school pioneer Nick Trombetta pleaded not guilty to an 11-count indictment today in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, the first step toward what could be an estimated seven-week trial. Also pleading not guilty today was Mr. Trombetta’s accountant, Neal Prence, who faces a tax conspiracy charge. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/pa-cyber-charter-school-founder-trombetta-pleads-not-guilty-to-fraud-tax-charges-701048/#ixzz2dHWCvFV7 More »

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New state Keystone exams for education scrutinized at hearing

Aug27

A hearing on Keystone exams presided over by state senators Mike Folmer and Andy Dinniman stretched on for more than four hours Monday as testimony came from a variety of people with different ties to education in Pennsylvania. Many of the concerns and much of the debate surrounded a few points, but two were agreed […] More »

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The Trombetta indictment: A triple shame

Aug27

n the end, it was nothing more than an old-fashioned skimming operation. At least that’s what federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh allege in an 11-count indictment for mail fraud, filing false tax returns and conspiracy against Nick Trombetta. Mr. Trombetta, 58, of East Liverpool, Ohio, was the brain trust behind the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, the […] More »

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Fickle funding formula

Aug27

Charter schools are playing an increasingly critical role in the education of Pennsylvania students K-12. In fact, some 6 percent of students statewide — about 119,000 overall — now attend publicly funded charter schools. And another 44,000 are on waiting lists. Clearly, charter schools are a popular choice for parents looking for an alternative to […] More »

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Federal Indictment Fuels Concerns About Pa. Cyber Charters

Aug27

Federal investigators recently unveiled a grand jury indictment of Nicholas Trombetta, the founder and former CEO of Pennsylvania’s largest cyber charter school, now alleged to have stolen nearly $1 million in public money and improperly diverted a total of $8 million to avoid federal income taxes. The Cliff Notes version of the indictment is that prosecutors allege […] More »

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Governor: Gov. Corbett announces changes in Department of Education

Aug26

Text of Aug. 26 press release. HARRISBURG — Governor Tom Corbett today requested and received the resignation of acting Secretary of Education, Dr. William E. Harner. Harner, 56, of Carlisle, served as acting Secretary of Education since June 1. He previously served five years as superintendent for Cumberland Valley School District in Mechanicsburg. Dr. Carolyn […] More »

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William Harner being removed as Pa. acting education secretary, sources say

Aug26

Less than three months after being named as acting state Education Secretary, two sources have confirmed that William Harner is being forced out of the post in Gov. Tom Corbett’s Cabinet. Two sources confirm that former Cumberland Valley School District Superintendent William Harner’s stint as acting education secretary is ending less than three months after it started.Christine […] More »

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School Lane questions charter school funding formulas

Aug26

As Gov. Tom Corbett renews his push for comprehensive charter school reform, charter school operators across the state are pursuing millions of federal dollars they say they should have been paid under state law. School Lane Charter School in Bensalem is seeking nearly $1.4 million in payments its officials argue should have been funneled to […] More »

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Feds: Pa Cyber Charter founder schemed to steal $1 million

Aug24

“Even though the Department of Justice said from the outset that PA Cyber itself was not a target of the investigation, we conducted an internal evaluation and restructuring of our senior administrators to assure our school was performing in a manner that maintains its strong reputation among state education officials, the general public, and our […] More »

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Five Facts on the Philadelphia Schools Crisis

Aug22

Things have reached a fever pitch in Philadelphia as the city’s school district—the eighth-largest in America—is scrambling to close its $300 million deficit and open schools on time. As protestors close in on City Hall and the clock runs down on the start of a new school year, it’s worth looking at what’s really behind […] More »

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Philly Teachers Attack Mayor Nutter With New Ad

Aug22

With nearly broke Philadelphia schools set to open on schedule next month, the city’s public school teachers are launching a new ad campaign taking aim at Mayor Nutter. The new ad, which is airing on several television stations, including NBC10, as well as print and radio, accuses Nutter of being too friendly with Governor Tom […] More »

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Fiscal Pressures Squeeze Philadelphia Schools as Opening Looms

Aug21

Philadelphia’s scramble this week to find the $50 million in emergency aid Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. says is needed to open schools as scheduled exposed deep rifts about how to fix the district’s chronic fiscal problems.   Continue reading at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/08/21/01philadelphia.h33.html More »

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Souderton Charter moving to laptops

Aug21

The Souderton Charter School Collaborative is making an investment in technology. The charter is doing away with traditional desktop PCs, donating those legacy computers, and has purchased about 150 Chromebook laptops, according to Wendy Ormsby, director of the school.   Continue reading at: http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer_news/souderton-charter-moving-to-laptops/article_1491e1cf-1699-543c-9b77-5a80f10bcd7c.html More »

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Cyber charter school to open on Octorara’s campus

Aug20

The Exton-based 21st Century Cyber Charter School will open its first satellite location on the Octorara Area School District campus on Aug. 26. Octorara Superintendent Tom Newcome announced the pilot educational partnership on Monday. Newcome said 21st Century will provide about 100 classes to interested Octorara students, while giving Octorara teachers on-campus training in how […] More »

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SCA signs with charter school alternative

Aug20

Southern Columbia Area School Board approved a contract Monday night with Behavioral Health Associates to provide online education services as an alternative to charter and cyber-charter schools. The program, called e-Bridge Academy, is a full-time option for students enrolled in cyber schools that will provide administration with the ability to manage the curriculum of their […] More »

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U.S. Department of Education grants Pennsylvania waiver from No Child Left Behind law’s AYP requirement

Aug20

The measure used for public school performance throughout Pennsylvania for more than a decade — adequate yearly progress, or AYP — is being replaced by a new accountability system. The U.S. Department of Education and Gov. Tom Corbett announced Tuesday that the federal government has granted the state a waiver to the federal No Child […] More »

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Pennsylvania Gets Its No Child Left Behind Act Waiver, Just in Time

Aug20

Pennsylvania today became the 43nd waiver applicant to be approved by the U.S. Department of Education, just in time for the start of the 2013-14 school year. That means 41 states, the District of Columbia, and eight California districts now have waivers under the NCLB law.     Continue reading at: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2013/08/pennsylvania_gets_its_no_child.html?override=web More »

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Federal laws may bar bid by PA charter schools to get extra $150 million from public schools

Aug20

HARRISBURG — Federal laws and regulations could save Pennsylvania school districts from having to turn over as much as $150 million that charter schools say they are owed. Charter schools have filed 231 requests to Gov. Tom Corbett‘s administration, seeking to change the charter school funding formula to give them a share of the federal money […] More »

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PCPCS STATEMENT CONCERNING PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL REFORM COMMISSION’S ACTION TO SUSPEND PARTS OF THE SCHOOL CODE

Aug19

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools is extremely disappointed and shocked by the unprecedented, and largely unnoticed, actions taken by the School Reform Commission (SRC) last week to suspend additional elements of the School Code as related to charter schools. Its action is a clear violation of the law and prior court decisions, a […] More »

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Graystone Academy finally announces closure

Aug19

Days after losing another appeal, school said students must register elsewhere The promised public response last week from embattled Graystone Academy Charter School regarding its future never materialized, but the school web site  finally changed its message on Monday. “Graystone Academy will not be opening on Aug. 26, and we will not be open for operations during […] More »

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Great Schools Compact Update 4/22/2013

Aug18

Resolutions Minutes approved.   Discussion Universal Enrollment Update Ramsey Green, a consultant for Universal Enrollment, started by detailing that the Working Group meets twice monthly with representatives from the District, charter and advocacy group stakeholders. Green then highlighted that the Working Group has already had its first Parent Focus Group meeting and has on-going individual […] More »

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Inq.: School Crisis Drives Families from City

Aug18

Brian Hackford is divorcing Philadelphia, citing irreconcilable differences over public education. For most of his adult life, Hackford has loved this city – its energy, its grit, its humor, its culture, its diversity, restaurants, parks, museums, and a host of other ineffable qualities that have made this place home.But try as he might, he no […] More »

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Ed Week: Fiscal Pressures Squeeze Philadelphia Schools as Opening Looms

Aug17

Philadelphia’s scramble this week to find the $50 million in emergency aid Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. says is needed to open schools as scheduled exposed deep rifts about how to fix the district’s chronic fiscal problems. On the hot seat, both short and long term: a district that’s laid off thousands of teachers and […] More »

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District enrolling for new virtual school scheduled to open in September

Aug12

The District is rolling out the Philadelphia Virtual Academy (PVA), a new online initiative that it hopes will stem the loss of students and tuition to cyber charter schools. David Anderson, who is experienced in developing online learning programs in city alternative schools, has been named PVA director, and the District has stocked up on MacBook […] More »

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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Charter School STEM Specialist

Aug09

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has a vacancy within its Office of Education in Greenbelt, MD. The GSFC Office of Education would like to fill an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) position to serve as a Charter School STEM Specialist. The primary function will be to enhance GSFC and NASA’s ability to achieve high-impact, nation-wide results […] More »

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Mayor, Council respond to dire warning from Phila. schools superintendent

Aug08

August 8, 2013 (WPVI) — Philadelphia officials exchanged fighting words Thursday over a “doomsday budget” that the superintendent said threatens the opening of city schools next month. The $2.4 billion budget eliminates many art, music and sports programs, and includes more than 3,000 staff layoffs. Mayor Michael Nutter and Superintendent William Hite urged city council Thursday […] More »

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Educator Effectiveness System for use with Educational and Specialists Licensed Professionals

Aug05

Pennsylvania Department of Education Office of Executive Deputy Secretary August 5, 2013 PENN*LINK   The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) invites all school districts, charter schools, intermediate units, and career and technical centers to join us in the continued development and implementation of a new educator effectiveness system for use with educational specialists and licensed […] More »

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Autism charter school eyes Berks County

Aug02

The Pennsylvania Autism Charter School, which hopes to provide early intervention for children on the autistic spectrum, submitted an application last week to the Brandywine Heights Area School District in Berks County. Brandywine Heights does not have any charter schools within its district and the application will be the first to come before the school board, […] More »

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Phone: 484-356-0191  /  Fax: 484-356-0190  /  Email: info@PaCharters.org