Saturday, August 1, 2015

Philly cyber school to surrender its charter

Board members from the Philly-based Frontier Virtual Charter High School voted unanimously shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday to surrender its charter to the state Department of Education.

Philly cyber school to surrender its charter

0 comments

Updated: State Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis responded below to the news about the board's decision.

Board members from the Philly-based Frontier Virtual Charter High School voted unanimously shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday to surrender its charter to the state Department of Education.

The board announced the decision during a brief emergency meeting that was held via a conference call.

State Secretary of Education Ronald Tomalis released a statement which read in part: "Today's action is in the best interest of students and provides families sufficient time to make other arrangements for the upcoming school year.

"Over the past year, Frontier fell short in providing its students with the core academic programs parents and students expect of our public schools.

"These issues were not just the normal difficulties typically experienced by a first-year organization, but they go to the heart of Frontier's ability to provide quality educational opportunities to students within the confines of its charter, as well as the Charter School Law," Tomalis said.

Earlier this week, the state filed charges to have Frontier's charter revoked, citing an astonishingly long list of academic and financial problems.  

The school's woes were exposed by the Daily News in March, when Frontier's CEO, John Craig, laid off the teaching staff and the principal.

The school year came to a halt, and some parents complained that their children sat around for weeks while the school was in limbo. The state said Frontier administrators compiled "Save-My-Year" credit packets to prevent the vast majority of students from failing at the end of the year.

State investigators found that Frontier's administrators didn't provide promised computers, Internet reimbursements and classes to students. The state also found that Frontier spent a "significant" amount of money on things that weren't related to the cyber school.

But as recently as June 30, the school's board talked about Frontier being open in the fall.

Brian Leinhauser, the school's solicitor, said Thursday that he thought Frontier's board was going to fight the state's plans to revoke the charter,  but that money woes might have forced their hand.

"There are other factors that contributed to the board's decision," Leinhauser said, "and they will be more clearly laid out in a press release tomorrow."

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
PhillyClout Team
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter