Arise Academy Charter issues detailed

Posted: March 30, 2014

PHILADELPHIA The Philadelphia School District on Friday outlined a litany of academic, financial, and management problems that it said warrant closing the nation's first charter school for students in foster care.

District staffers involved with charter-school oversight testified that Arise Academy Charter High School has been beset with problems with truancy, absenteeism, and dropouts. Throughout a six-hour hearing, they said that the school had never met state academic standards and that its 11th-grade test scores rank in the bottom 5 percent among high-poverty schools in the state.

Arise is behind on its bills, they said. The school has engaged in deficit spending for the last three years, and the size of its debt is growing.

No one from Arise was present to challenge the district's evidence or to argue for keeping the school with 84 students open past June. Arise told the district this week that it would not participate in the hearing.

The district went ahead with the hearing, which had been scheduled after the School Reform Commission signaled in January that it did not intend to renew Arise's charter.

Hearing officer Rudolph Garcia said he would prepare a report for the SRC before it decides on closing the school.


martha.woodall@phillynews.com

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