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PSP awards $3 million in grants to Mastery, American Paradigm

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Jun 18, 2014 12:14 PM
Photo: Emma Lee/NewsWorks, file

Simon Gratz Mastery Charter High School on West Hunting Park Avenue.

The Philadelphia School Partnership announced today that it will disburse nearly $3 million to support the expansion of three charter schools.

It will grant $2.1 million to charter operator American Paradigm to help in adding a second elementary campus and a new high school. Mastery Charter School will get $855,000 to support expanding its Simon Gratz and Hardy Williams campuses.

American Paradigm's First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter, opened in 2002, now serves K-8th graders at its Tacony campus.

This school year was the first for First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter High School, which enrolled only 9th graders.

In total, the grant will help the schools expand from 1,275 to 1,880 students by the 2016-17 school year. The School Reform Commission already has approved this expansion.

For the upcoming school year, 1,796 students have signed onto the school's waitlist for only 280 available slots.

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Comments (23)

Submitted by inthetrenches (not verified) on June 18, 2014 1:02 pm
Once again, Phila. School Partnership is running the School District.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 18, 2014 1:17 pm
Nothing about where this money is coming from?? Starve the public schools, feed the charters!
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on June 18, 2014 2:35 pm
Now that certainly creates the "appearance of impropriety " and raises a Pandora's box of ethical and legal issues.
Submitted by inthetrenches (not verified) on June 18, 2014 2:00 pm
Apparently the goal is to have 50% of students in charters. That will once again drain the public school. Charters are already taking far more of special ed. funding than they are using for special ed. students. Charters, again, are reaping the political power of the hedge fund operatives. PSP / Oligarchy reigns...
Submitted by Rob (not verified) on June 18, 2014 3:13 pm
Now what happens to those extra students when the money runs out?? It looks like PSP is paying to get the new grades started and then the district will be left footing the bill. PSP is racing to get as many students enrolled in charters before the gauntlet falls; once a charter is expanded, it will never be contracted
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 18, 2014 3:38 pm
Exactly Mastery and PSP will stop at nothing. They have no ethics. They have no scruples. Mastery and PSP are always scurrying around trying to get their hands on the bundles of taxpayers' money the children take with them. The Gates Compact Privatization Committee needs to be disbanded because what they do is disgraceful. They operate in secrecy with no accountability to anyone. In the process, they suck the lifeblood out of Phialadelphia's public schools. City Couyncil should file a lawsuit against them.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on June 18, 2014 9:40 pm
Only the School Reform Commission has the legal authority to expand enrollment at charter schools. What the PSP's money does is to provide extra supports and personnel in order to help charter schools and CMO-managed schools fill all of their available slots. How much money did the PSP give to Gratz before Mastery started operating the school? I would love to see the cumulative calculations of how much money PSP has granted to charter or "charter" schools, boutique public schools (e.g. Building 21), and traditional neighborhood schools. The PSP only gives money to neighborhood schools to maintain the appearance of fairness. PSP is bankrolled by the Gates Foundation and Walton Foundations. The agenda is clear.
Submitted by anon (not verified) on June 19, 2014 12:53 am
sleazy move. we've seen it all before. timely though. here's a quick opportunity to see it hite & greene are serious about righting the ship that is public education or are they just seeking low hanging cash for their handlers.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 19, 2014 9:10 am
This is not a "charter school" issue. Most of the city's traditional charter schools are being starved for resources, as well. This is a few corporate schools being supported and given the "keys to the city". The BCG plan called for a few operators to run the entire district. Traditional charter schools and neighborhood schools do not fit into this model. Count the number of Renaissance providers. That's who will be running the district.
Submitted by anon (not verified) on June 19, 2014 7:48 pm
this is, quite simply, gleason's (attempted fly under the radar) response to their recent debacles at steele and munoz-marin. the fact that we've not heard a comment from hite on the proposal so far, is due more to hite's ability to count votes and read tea leaves than any epiphany on his part. this proposal needs to be quickly exposed for the district budget breaking proposal that it is. ordinarily one would suggest that it should be the pft's job to expose the future cost to the district, but jerry has shown no interest in crunching the numbers, witness his silence on how much money the district has actually pocketed by foregoing contractual step raises, bonuses, etc. owed to teachers. perhaps someone (helen, michael masch?) could do some due diligence and come up with an approximation for the cost before this proposal gains traction. it is patently unfair to continue to place this state contrived open-ended expense on the revenue challenged residents of the city of philadelphia.
Submitted by anon (not verified) on June 19, 2014 7:09 pm
and by the way, what would the wait list be for masterman, capa, central, northeast, etc if they wanted to call it that?
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