Mont­gomery Flex Char­ter School will not ap­peal

North Penn Life - - Front Page - By Jen­nifer Law­son jlaw­son@jour­nalregis­ter.com

The ed­u­ca­tional con­sul­tant who made two failed at­tempts at launch­ing Mont­gomery Flex Char­ter School within the North Penn School District said he will not ap­peal.

Tim Sager said the po­ten­tial cost of the ap­peal was the main fac­tor in his de­ci­sion.

WKHn DSSHDOLnJ, tKH fiUst step is to gather 1,000 sig­na­tures from North Pennarea res­i­dents, then present the pe­ti­tion to the Mont­gomery County Court of Com­mon Pleas so it can re­view the sig­na­tures.

“At this stage, the school district can chal­lenge the ve­rac­ity of the sig­na­tures by sub­poe­naing the sig­na­ture gath­er­ers, com­par­ing the sig­na­tures with their lists of res­i­dents and gen­er­ally mak­ing the process Ds GLI­fiFuOt Ds SRssLEOH,” Sager said. “This can be par­tic­u­larly costly as we would need to have our own lawyer present as the district goes through th­ese mo­tions to squash our ap­peal. lnly af­ter that process has ended does our ap­pli­ca­tion go to the char­ter ap­peals board.”

Sager es­ti­mated it could cost A20,000 to A30,000 in le­gal fees.

In­stead of ap­peal­ing to Harrisburg or re­sub­mit­ting his ap­pli­ca­tion to the North Penn School Board, Sager said he is wait­ing to see what tran­spires at the leg­isla­tive level.

Last year, the leg­is­la­ture con­sid­ered a ma­jor char­ter school re­form package, which in­cluded a pro­vi­sion for an in­de­pen­dent statewide au­tho­riza­tion author­ity for char­ter schools.

How­ever, it failed to be­come law, and an­other char­ter school re­form leg­isla­tive package pre­sented in Jan­uary by the Penn­syl­va­nia House of oep­re­sen­ta­tives pri­mar­ily ad­dresses char­ter school fund­ing.

Sager said that he might make an­other at­tempt at es­tab­lish­ing Mont­gomery Flex if leg­is­la­tion al­lows for an alternative route to char­ter ap­proval.

“I con­tinue to be­lieve in the value of a char­ter school in North Penn,” he said. “Many fam­i­lies have been en­thu­si­as­tic about the value of a small, more in­di­vid­u­al­ized school in the district, and oth­ers have told me how hav­ing a choice, when the North Penn School sys­tem isn’t work­ing for them, would give them the hope that their chil­dren would re­ceive a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion in a safe en­vi­ron­ment.”

Coming to terms with the fact that the funds aren’t there to con­tinue is GLI­fiFuOt, SDJHU sDLG.

“This has been per­haps the hard­est phase, ac­knowl­edg­ing that we don’t have the re­sources to move for­ward,” he said.

Last year, Sager ap­plied for a char­ter for Mont­gomery Flex, but the school board de­ter­mined his pro­posed school was a cy­ber char­ter school. Cy­ber char­ter ap­pli­ca­tions are han­dled at the state level, not at the school board level.

The North Penn School Board de­cided Feb. 12 to deny char­ter ap­pli­ca­tions for two other char­ters in ad­di­tion to Mont­gomery Flex — Soud­er­ton Char­ter School Col­lab­o­ra­tive and Ed­u­ca­tion for New den­er­a­tions.

Those be­hind Soud­er­ton Char­ter School Col­lab­o­ra­tive said last week that they are ap­peal­ing the de­ci­sion to the char­ter school ap­peals board in Harrisburg.

The two teach­ers who pro­posed Ed­u­ca­tion for New den­er­a­tions said they’re weigh­ing their op­tions and will make a de­ci­sion by the end of Fe­bru­ary as to whether to re­vise and re­sub­mit their ap­pli­ca­tion to the district or ap­peal.

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