Charter schools now big business nationwide
PITTSBURGH – The early charter schools in Pennsylvania were largely the product of passionate parents or community groups, who sometimes planned their dream schools around the kitchen table.
But the picture has changed dramatically since the charter school law was passed in Pennsylvania in 1997, with an expansion of education management organizations that bring big money and clout into the picture.
While some of the early charter planners succeeded -- such as the Manchester Youth Development Center on the North Side, which then offered an after-school tutoring program and started the Manchester Academic Charter School -- many schools never materialized, with some planners saying it was harder than expected to come up with the necessary capital and expertise.
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