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Secretary Of Education Seeks Revocation Of Philadelphia-Based Solomon Charter School's Charter

School is Violation of the State Charter School Law

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Citing significant and severe violations of the Pennsylvania Public School Code, Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis today filed charges to revoke the cyber charter of Solomon Charter School in Philadelphia.

"Solomon officials have consistently demonstrated their inability to adhere to the school's governing charter and operate within the confines of the Charter School Law," Tomalis said.  "The Public School Code is explicit – cyber charter schools are to offer a significant portion of their curriculum through the Internet or other electronic means.''

"Since opening its doors in September 2012, Solomon has primarily operated as a brick-and-mortar charter school, circumventing the brick-and-mortar charter school authorization process, and negating the essential basis on which the charter was granted – that the school would provide a 'cyber' education to its students.''

In the filing of charges, Tomalis noted several reasons for revoking Solomon's charter, including:
  • Failure to deliver a significant portion of instruction to its students through the Internet or other electronic means;
  • Failure to provide or reimburse for each student enrolled all equipment, technology and services necessary for the online delivery of curriculum and instruction;
  • Using its physical facility for purposes other than those permitted for a cyber charter school;
  • Failure to provide for each employee of the school enrollment in the Public School Employees' Retirement System; and
  • Violating provisions of law from which it has not been exempted.

Pennsylvania's Charter School Law – Article 17-A of the Public School Code – separates charter schools into three categories: charter schools, regional charter schools and cyber charter schools.

Charter schools and regional charter schools are authorized to operate through charters granted by a local school district's board of school directors. Commonly referred to as "brick-and-mortar" charter schools, these schools focus on teacher-centered instruction, including teacher-led discussion and face-to-face interaction at the school's facilities.

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