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Newswire: June 12, 2012

Vol. 14, No. 24

CORBETT’S CRUSADE? Many are asking the big question- how is it that a candidate who ran and won on making school reform his first priority hasn’t been successful in achieving real reform since he’s taken office? Meanwhile, the Governor has weighed in on the debate on online schooling, criticizing the notion that online schools should be well-enough funded to provide choices that hundreds of parents use and demand. For almost 18 straight months the Corbett team has permitted the Republican House to ignore SB 1, a pathbreaking school choice bill that passed last year. Then, an effort to improve the state’s charter law to incorporate higher education in authorizing has been stalled by the status quo supporting school districts. The Governor is now taking aim at cyber charters as if cutting their funds will close the state budget gap. As Governor Corbett himself said at a school choice forum during the campaign, good education is the key to economic solvency. The Pennsylvania House adjourns June 30 but there is still time to do a real reform package, if the will is there.

“TEAR DOWN THIS WALL.” Today is the anniversary of the famous Reagan challenge to Gorbachev at the Bradenberg Gate, calling on the Russian leader to destroy the Berlin Wall that separated a country and kept half in abysmal conditions. How fitting that a similar wall holds back kids in the U.S. from social justice parity and, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, stands as tall and solid as it was when many who were elected and promised to fight the status quo two years ago.

SWIFT BOAT OF REFORM. With far too many schools drowning academically, especially in Detroit, no wonder parent trigger is winding its way through the Michigan Legislature in order to make

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Enrolled Students' Future Unclear

“Gardner decision being appealed as students enroll”
by Sarah Hofius Hall
Scranton Times-Tribune
March 5, 2012

The Howard Gardner School for Discovery is now accepting applications for the fall, for its first year as a charter school.

But the school’s future is not entirely clear, as officials from the Scranton and Abington Heights school districts have appealed a state decision that grants the school its charter.

After both districts denied the now-private school’s charter application last year, the state’s Charter Appeals Board reversed those decisions in the fall, and the parties received the official written decision from the board last month.

Now the Commonwealth Court will review the state’s decision, Scranton solicitor John Minora said. Scranton has also requested a stay, which would prohibit the school from opening until the case is resolved. The court would have to make that decision.

As of Friday afternoon, the state had not received notice of the appeals. Unless a stay is granted, the school can open as scheduled, said Timothy Eller, spokesman for the state Department of Education.

Charter schools are self-managed public schools that must either be approved by public school districts or by the state under an appeal. The schools are free for students to attend, and districts must pay tuition to charter schools if their students opt to enroll.

Abington Heights Superintendent Michael Mahon, Ph.D., said the district’s attorneys have also found merit in launching an appeal.

As the appeals make it through the court system, the school is going to continue to accept applications, said Vincent Rizzo, director of the school.

Between re-enrolling current students and enrolling children whose parents are on the school’s founder’s list, the school is already near capacity, Mr. Rizzo said.

Three children are on a waiting list, but depending on the grade level, spots may be available. Applications are now being accepted through the

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