Meadville Tribune

Breaking News

Local News

July 18, 2014

County supports Spartansburg charter school proposal

MEADVILLE — Saying they recognize the need for the Spartansburg area to develop its own elementary school, Crawford County commissioners have gone on record in support of the community’s plan — and commissioners will continue to explore whether the county may be able to help financially.

Spartansburg and neighboring Sparta Township residents are attempting to form their own elementary school for the 2015-16 school year in the wake of Corry Area School District’s decision to close Spartansburg Elementary School in June as a cost-cutting move.

“It drives a lot in terms of community,” Commissioner Jack Lynch, vice chairman of county commissioners, said of local elementary schools prior to Thursday’s unanimous vote by Commissioners Lynch, C. Sherman Allen and Chairman Francis Weiderspahn Jr.

Commissioners voted to draft a letter of support for backers of the Spartansburg Charter School to submit with the proposed school’s application to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The motion in support of the school also directed the county’s attorney, Ted Watts, to review ways the county may support the school — if it is financially prudent.

That school application is expected to be submitted to the state Department of Education in August for review, Scott Morton, spokesman for the school group, told commissioners Thursday. Morton said the local group anticipates a possible appeal of the charter school application by the Corry Area School District, a process that could run through November.

“We thank the commissioners for the support,” Morton said following the vote.

Spartansburg and Sparta Township in northeastern Crawford County are part of the Corry Area School District, which covers parts of Erie, Crawford and Warren counties.

With the closure of Spartansburg’s elementary school, starting in September of this year, elementary students from the Spartansburg area will be sent up to 20 miles to one of three other elementary schools within the Corry district.

Spartansburg area residents sought county government’s support in the community’s development of its own charter elementary school for grades kindergarten through sixth grade by fall 2015 with an estimated 120 students.

Charter schools are public, tuition-free, nonsectarian schools that may not discriminate in admission of students. They operate under an agreement between the charter school and the local school board.

The “charter” establishing each school is a legal agreement detailing the school’s mission, programs, methods of assessment, finances and measures of success.

To help get the school off the ground, backers are seeking a possible loan through the county.

When Spartansburg community officials made a presentation to the county July 1, an estimated $500,000 was needed in upfront costs for materials, supplies and cash flow until the school is established. There has been $150,000 in loans pledged from the community.

However, those initial upfront costs for the school may not be as high as $500,000 after a preliminary review with charter school management companies. Morton has said potential funding may come from other sources as well.

Text Only
Local News
  • Well inspectors trying to keep up during boom time

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 27, 2014

  • cycle Young stunt cyclist to bring show to 'Thunder'

    V-v-v-v-eroom! is the high-pitched whine from the Honda CBR 600 sport motorcycle as Steven Pilic rolls back the throttle and speeds down the asphalt. In one quick, smooth motion — just like you put one foot in front of the other — he shifts his weight forward on the handlebars, jumps from the bike’s foot pegs, lands his feet on the seat and pulls the 400-plus pounds of metal up onto its back wheel, using a combination of balance, brakes, clutch and speed to circle slowly at first and then faster and faster, tighter and tighter while doing a wheelie.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tornado watch issued for Crawford County

    The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a tornado watch for Crawford County.


    July 27, 2014

  • SUNDAY ISSUE: 'Free-range' parenting

    The case of a woman arrested after leaving her daughter at a park while she went to work is sparking discussion across South Carolina — and even the rest of the country.

    July 26, 2014

  • pymatuning History majors rule at Pioneer & Art Festival

    Those looking for living history exhibits at the 21st annual Pymatuning Pioneer & Art Festival weren’t disappointed Saturday.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Organizers ready to stimulate Meadville with next weekend's Thunder in the City

    Started six years ago by Dave Stone, owner of Mickey’s Central Station, as an event to “increase commerce and stimulate the economy,” the annual Thunder in the City Classic Car and Motorcycle Show in Meadville has done that — and lots more.

    July 25, 2014

  • Conneautville celebrating 200 years

    Thursday was a relaxed opening day at the Conneautville Bicentennial Celebration, but things will get hopping today — literally. A frog jumping contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.

    July 25, 2014

  • PennDOT seeking outside help to make bridge repairs

    State officials are poised to sign a massive deal that will enlist outside help to rebuild and maintain up to 600 bridges, marking the Corbett administration’s latest foray into privatizing key government functions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stabbing charges dismissed against Bloomfield woman

    A Bloomfield Township woman accused of stabbing her live-in companion last month is a free woman after the alleged victim in the case didn’t appear in court Wednesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Guys Mills boy wins national PBS Kids Writers Contest

    July 24, 2014