Harrisburg School Board votes against new charter school - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Harrisburg School Board votes against new charter school

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The Harrisburg School Board voted against an application for a new charter high school in the city Tuesday night.

The application was filed by Capital Region Arts and Education, a non-profit organization that has been supporting arts in education.

The group was looking to turn the Capital Area Intermediate Unit into the Capital Area School for the Arts. But with no public discussion about the pros and cons of the school, the Harrisburg School Board voted 6-2 against approving it as a charter school.

Those connected with CASA, as it is called, were disappointed by the thumbs down vote.

"We've spent quite a few hours here with the board," said Brian Griffith, the director of curriculum services at the intermediate unit. "We felt that with their questioning, every thing was being addressed that they were questioning. A number of them came down and visited the facility."

None of the six board members that voted "no" offered any reason as to why during the meeting.

abc27 asked two of them for comment as they headed off to an executive session right after the meeting. Both board members declined to offer a reason.

Griffith said the group will now look to receive a written explanation of the rejection.

"According to charter school law, they need to address something in the application, somewhere that they found we did not successfully address," said Griffith. "They can't turn it down just because they don't like a charter school for example."

Also during the meeting, the board approved a settlement with Dr. Gerald Kohn, the former superintendent who filed a lawsuit after he was fired. Terms of that settlement were not announced.

Board solicitor Samuel Cooper said the deal still had to be finalized and that terms would likely be announced within the next few days.

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