State College

State College school board approves renewal for Young Scholars

The State College Area school board unanimously approved a five-year renewal of Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School on Monday.

Superintendent Bob O’Donnell said that it’s up to the district to decide if the Ferguson Township school will continue to operate.

Charter schools are partially funded by districts that have students who attend them.

In March, a team of administrators including O’Donnell and Assistant Superintendent Michael Hardy performed an onsite evaluation of the charter school.

“They’re the largest charter (school) in the area,” O’Donnell said. “It’s a large part of our budget and we do a thorough survey.”

According to a report from district business manager Randy Brown, State College Area pays out about $12,000 per regular education student to attend a charter school, and almost $24,000 for a charter school student in special education.

The district has 382 students who attend charter schools.

Also, at Monday night’s meeting, after hearing several public comments about the high school project, the board voted to alter plans for the athletic space.

The board unanimously approved changes to make the formerly proposed auxiliary gyms into a fitness center and wrestling area. That space will be added on to gyms in the North and South buildings.

The previous plan called for the auxiliary gyms to be alternative space, as some residents believed it would take away from athletic use.

The current plan shows a 54,000-square-foot area — an increase of nearly 3,000 square feet from the current facilities, according to a report from district spokesman Chris Rosenblum.

He added that students would no longer need to cross the street for physical education.