State rejects the third cyber charter application

Pennsylvania's acting education secretary turned down the third and final application for a new statewide cyber charter school Thursday.

The decision, signed by Pedro A. Rivera, found that the application filed by the proposed Insight PA Cyber Charter School was deficient in six areas, including governance.

The plans called for the cyber to be based in Newtown Square and offer online instruction at home to students from kindergarten through high school.

Noting that Insight planned to partner with the for-profit K12 Virtual Schools L.L.C., for curriculum and management services, Rivera said the founders had failed to provide sufficient evidence that the cyber would operate as an independent public school.

Among other things, the secretary said, the management agreement between K12 and Insight would limit the cyber's abilities to seek services or products from other providers.

Alan Kessler, attorney for the Insight board, said Thursday evening that members have not yet had an opportunity to digest the decision.

"At this point, we are genuinely disappointed. This is the third year we have applied," he said. "We have done everything we thought we could possibly do for three years in a row."

Insight could revise and resubmit its application or file an appeal with the state Charter Appeal Board.

With the denial of Insight's application, the Education Department has rejected every application for a new cyber in the last three years.

The state's 14 existing cybers enroll 36,596 students.


martha.woodall@phillynews.com

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@marwooda