One of my most valuable sources of information is an email blast from the Keystone State Education Coalition, which reports on school-related news from Pennsylvania and links to articles in the Pennsylvania press.

I have been watching with fascination and horror the ongoing efforts of Governor Tom Corbett to undermine public education in his state.

One of his closest education advisors and campaign donors also owns the state’s largest charter school.

He now wants to take over and replace K-6 public education in Pottstown with a charter school owned and managed by his corporation.

Please take the time to read the very last link, which includes the emails between the charter operator and the staff of the district.

 

These daily emails are archived at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org

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How many years away from this privatization scenario is your school district?

Poking around on the internet, this right-to-know request surfaced.  In a series of emails, it details efforts to privatize the Pottstown School District in 2011 and includes correspondence between the district, legislative staff, Vahan Gureghian, CEO of Charter School Management, Inc. and Mr. Max Tribble.

 Mr. Gureghian’s company is under contract to operate Pennsylvania’s largest brick and mortar charter school in Chester.  Mr. Gureghian was Governor Corbett’s largest individual campaign donor and was recruited to serve on the Governor’s Education Transition Team.  Mr. Tribble is registered as his lobbyist on the state’s lobbying registration website via the Washington Advocacy Group and Greenlee Partners, LLC.

Keep in mind that in the 54 page charter school reform amendment to SB1115 (page 75, section 1732-A, paragraph (8)) introduced by Rep, Tom Killion (R-168, Chester and Delaware) on the last day of the legislative session there was language that would have specifically exempted a vendor (like Charter School Management, Inc.) from the state’s right-to-know laws.  SB1115 passed in the Houseby a vote of 120-77, but was not considered by the Senate. You might want to consider asking your legislator why they voted for it.

There has been a right-to-know request pending for Charter School Management’s financial records for several years. Although it was recently upheld by Commonwealth Court, it is anticipated that it will be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

It is anticipated that charter school reform will be on the short list for consideration by the legislature during their short session this fall. 

http://www.pottstowncitizens.org/2011pdf/2011-5-19Hyltonstatementtoschoolboard.pdf