Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School

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The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School
Address
652 Midland Avenue
Midland, Pennsylvania
United States
Information
Type Online
Motto

Helping families build their own school... Out of choices, not bricks. (2000-2014)

The learning never stops. (2014-present)
Established 2000
Grades Pre-K - 12
Enrollment Public (PA only), 10,000+
Website

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, known familiarly as PA Cyber, is a public cyber charter school founded in Midland, Pennsylvania in 2000. The school secured a five-year renewal of its charter, from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, in July 2010.[1] After a yearlong review, the school was accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in 2011.[2] According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012-2013 school year, the Title 1 school reported an enrollment of 10,434 pupils, 1,326 of whom had IEPs. It reported a 50.75 student/teacher ratio.[3] In 2013, the school held three graduation ceremonies and, according to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education,[4] it graduated 1500 students, 87.7 percent of whom were bound for a post-secondary education.[citation needed]

Academic results[edit]

In 2011, 2010 and 2009, PA Cyber Charter School achieved AYP status.[5] In 2011, the graduation rate at PA Cyber Charter School was 91%.[6]

Criticisms[edit]

The school has been subject to regular criticism from the Pennsylvania School Board Association and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials over several issues, including funding and the school's fund balance reserves.[7] In 2010, the school reported an Unreserved - Undesignated Fund balance of $2,406,089 and a Reserved - Undesignated Fund balance of $11,415,257.[8] The undesignated funds are not committed to any planned project. Designated funds and any other funds, such as capital reserves, are allocated to specific projects. School districts are required by state law to keep 5 percent of their annual spending in the undesignated reserve funds to preserve bond ratings. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, from 2003 to 2010, as a whole, Pennsylvania school districts amassed nearly $3 billion in reserved funds.[9]

The school was subject to a grand jury investigation in 2007 regarding using funds improperly (for expenses not related to each individual student). The allegations were: double billing, excessive management fees, questionable payments to building contractors and misuse of tax dollars with regards to the building of a $23.5 million Performing Arts Center.[10][11][12] No indictment came from the proceedings.[13][14]

Awards[edit]

The school was named "Top Places to Work" by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in October 2011.[15]

2012 Pre-K–12 Educator Award from University of Pittsburgh School of Education [16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eleanor Chute, Pa. Cyber Charter School gets 5-year renewal, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 22, 2010
  2. ^ Beaver County Times, Midland: Cyber school accredited, November 6, 2011
  3. ^ http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/school_detail.asp?Search=1&State=42&SchoolType=1&SchoolType=2&SchoolType=3&SchoolType=4&SpecificSchlTypes=charter&IncGrade=-1&LoGrade=-1&HiGrade=-1&SchoolPageNum=8&ID=420007100534
  4. ^ http://www.education.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/graduates/7426
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "PA Cyber Charter School AYP Overview". 
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "PA Cyber School AYP Data Table 2011". 
  7. ^ Pennsylvania School Board Association (2011). "Charter Schools Talking Point". 
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Fund Balances by Local Education Agency 1997 to 2010". 
  9. ^ Murphy, Jan., Pennsylvania's public schools boost reserves, CentreDaily Times, September 22, 2010
  10. ^ Suzie Clarke, Steven Hurlburt, Lindsay Wines, George Mason University School of Public Policy, Balancing ‘BRICK-AND-MORTAR’ & ‘BITS-AND-BYTES’: An Analysis of CyberCharter School Funding in Pennsylvania, Spring 2007
  11. ^ HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE (August 1, 2007). "Informational Meeting Cyber Charter School Legislation transcript". 
  12. ^ Maunz, Shay (October 6, 2011). "Cyber School Had Genesis Here: PA Cyber brought new life to depressed Midland and spawned an education alternative - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Attorney General Office, PA Cyber Charter School Investigation, 2009
  14. ^ O'Shea, Patrick., Beaver Times Online, Trombetta leaves a diverse legacy, May 11, 2012
  15. ^ Shay Maunz, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Top Places to Work - Top Large Employer, October 6, 2011
  16. ^ http://www.pacyber.org/view-bulletin.jsp?restrictids=nu_repeatitemid&restrictvalues=2161392240601333440541561

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°38′19″N 80°27′18″W / 40.63851°N 80.45490°W / 40.63851; -80.45490