Once again, a Philadelphia charter school is closing unexpectedly, leaving students and parents in the lurch and screwing the school district out of $1.5 million illegally gotten:
The fallout from the abrupt closing of the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School spreads.
Teachers say they fear they won't be paid money they're owed for working in December. And amid rumors that the charter's flagship building in Northern Liberties would be liquidated to pay creditors, several teachers decided to retrieve personal items from the building on Monday - and were initially thwarted by security.
Frustrated parents held a protest.
"It's unfair to receive notification over the weekend that the school will be closed," said Jihan Pauling, a parent who organized a rally outside the charter's main campus.
Citing insurmountable financial obstacles, the Palmer charter sent letters to families and staff on Friday informing them that the school would close permanently Wednesday.
The move sent teachers on quests for new jobs and information about filing for unemployment and left families of the school's 675 students in kindergarten through eighth grade scrambling for new schools.
The younger students were based in Northern Liberties. The fifth through eighth graders had attended classes in the former St. Bartholomew Catholic school on Harbison Avenue in Frankford.
John L. Pund Jr., the financial consultant hired by the Palmer charter's board to handle the liquidation, said the board had no alternative to closing after the Philadelphia School District said it would require the charter to begin making monthly payments of $250,000.
That money was to repay the $1.5 million that the courts had ruled that the charter had collected for students it was not entitled to have.
Don't kid yourself that this "reform" is only happening to "bad schools" in urban centers. Once they're done taking over the cities, they're coming for your local schools.