Education Plus Cyber Charter Academy Forced to Close

The Education Plus Cyber Charter Academy was forced to abruptly lay off its remaining staff last week and shut down as of last Friday. At issue is over concern about the continuing state budget impasse in Harrisburg. FOX 29's Bruce Gordon:

They gathered outside the Education Plus Academy on Jackson street- one of the learning centers linked to company's cyber program.They were met by a locked gate.

All of the Education Plus Learning Centers are now closed. And parents like Yarelie Vega are at their wits' end.

"I'm devastated. I just don't know what I'm supposed to do. I'm lost," Vega said.

A letter to parents last Tuesday said learning centers would close the very next day.

The letter blamed the ongoing state budget impasse and was signed by Education Plus CEO Nicholas Torres. He spoke to our Jeff Cole on Friday:

"So the state CAN'T pay. They haven't paid any of the cyber charter schools. They can't pay because until a budget is passed, they can't release any of the funds," Torres said.

But parents told us they were blindsided by the announcement- and ask of Torres, why aren't other cyber charters going under?

"This school here was small, fifteen kids to a class, hands-on with kids. It was great. And now, nothing! We have absolutely nothing!"

Teachers at this learning center say they were assured Education Plus could survive the budget crisis-- only to be told via email last Wednesday, they will not be receiving a paycheck for their most recent three weeks' work.

"How does that make you feel, come holiday time?"

"Tomorrow, the mortgage is due. That's all I gotta tell you."

Parents now left to find a new school three months into the academic year, want Governor Wolf to probe Education Plus.

"What are we going to do for these children? I can't stay home-- I'm a single mom. What are we going to do?

I spoke to the governor via satellite a short time later-- he promised a closer look at what's happened at Education Plus.

"I think accountability is something we want throughout education. But I think we've been particularly lax in, especially, cyber charter schools," Gov. Wolf said.