September 22 — 3:31 pm, 2016

Auditor finds conflicts in spending of cyber charter

PA Cyber Charter had contracts with entities that were tied to the school's founder.

depasquale ap file photo AP file photo

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has issued another report calling for reform of the state charter school law. This one cites multiple contracts between the state’s largest cyber charter school and entities that are tied to its founder, Nicholas Trombetta.

Among other concerns, it says that the management firm run by Trombetta, Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School’s founder, received a $110 million, three-year curriculum contract from the school,  but failed to deliver on its promises. The firm missed several deadlines in the agreement, but the board of PA Cyber Charter waived penalties for nonperformance, which would have totaled $4.2 million. PA Cyber enrolls nearly 10,000 students from 484 school districts across the state, including Philadelphia. It’s based in Beaver County.

Trombetta, a former Midland Borough school superintendent, was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2013 on charges including mail fraud and tax evasion. Last month, he pleaded guilty to one count of tax conspiracy. He is to be sentenced in December.

A link to a press release and the full report, which covers 2011 to 2016, can be found here. 

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