State audit: 'Deficiencies' at Chester charter school

FILE PHOTO State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says Chester Community Charter School improperly collected nearly $1.3 million in state lease payments. DePasquale also criticized the education provided by the school. The company that manages the school called the audit "grossly wrong" and politically motivated.
FILE PHOTO State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says Chester Community Charter School improperly collected nearly $1.3 million in state lease payments. DePasquale also criticized the education provided by the school. The company that manages the school called the audit "grossly wrong" and politically motivated.
Posted: August 23, 2013

CHESTER Community Charter School, the largest charter school in Pennsylvania, was singled out yesterday in a blistering report released by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who alleged that the school had improperly collected nearly $1.3 million in state lease payments and had failed to provide children with a quality education.

"While those associated with the management of the Chester Community Charter School are making millions off of the backs of taxpayers, the children this charter school serves are not getting the education required to meet state and federal standards," DePasquale said.

The school, which educates about 3,200 students in the troubled Chester-Upland School District, is managed by CSMI LLC, a for-profit company based in Chester. The company's CEO is Vahan Gureghian, a Gladwyne lawyer and major campaign contributor to Republican Gov. Corbett.

CSMI fired back at DePasquale, claiming in a letter that the audit is "grossly wrong" and "intended as a political cudgel to debilitate Pennsylvania's most successful brick-and-mortar charter school in service to an anti-charter agenda." DePasquale, a Democrat, has received campaign contributions from the state teachers' union.

CSMI is expanding into New Jersey this school year with the opening of Camden Community Charter School.


On Twitter: @wbender99

Blog: ph.ly/DailyDelco

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