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State denies eight cyber charter school applications

| Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, 3:16 p.m.

The state Department of Education announced on Monday it had denied applications from eight cyber charter schools seeking to open this fall, including one in Brentwood.

“The proposals submitted by the applicants lack adequate evidence and sufficient information of how prospective students would be offered quality academic programs,” Education Secretary Ron Tomalis said in a prepared statement. “In addition, the financial plans presented call into question each applicant's ability to maintain a long-term, viable educational program for the benefit of Pennsylvania students.”

The Department of Education oversees cyber charter schools, including the granting and revocation of a charter.

In late November, public hearings were held over a four-day period to provide each applicant an opportunity to defend its proposal and undergo questioning by department staff.

PHASE 4 America Cyber Charter School proposed opening in Brentwood, but Tomalis cited deficiencies in governance, finance and curriculum in denying the application.

The others the state rejected were Akoben Cyber Charter School in Philadelphia County, Insight PA Cyber Charter School in Delaware County, MB Resiliency Cyber Charter School in Philadelphia County, Mercury Online Cyber Charter School in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Career Path Cyber Charter School in Lehigh County, Urban Cyber Charter School in York County and V3 Cyber Charter School in Dauphin County.

Each applicant has the option to appeal the decision to a state board.

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