The troubled Education Plus Academy Cyber Charter School, which closed its six learning centers across the state and laid off 30 staffers earlier this week, has laid off the rest of its staff amid questions about its ability to continue to operate.
Nicholas Torres, founding CEO of the cyber, based in Wayne, said Friday that the school had no choice after its bank shut down its line of credit. Without those funds, he said, the school was unable to meet payroll or pay for benefits.
He said that Meridian Bank of Malvern had also frozen the school's account.
The 15 cyber employees remaining after the Tuesday layoffs were notified by email that they were being laid off.
A special board meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday to "determine next steps regarding staff and school operations."
Torres said that if Education Plus obtains financing, it could rehire staff and resume operations.
In the interim, he said, the 540 K-8 students statewide who are enrolled at Ed Plus will be able to continue to use the online curriculum modules that are available on their school-issued Chromebooks, but will not be able to consult with teachers.
Torres has blamed the school's financial problems on the state budget impasse, and said that it is owed an unspecified amount of money from the state and districts whose students are enrolled at the cyber school. But former staffers said questionable management decisions by the school's administrators and board were also a factor in the school's fiscal woes.
Former teachers said they had been told that they would not be paid for their last three weeks of work.
Education Plus ran into trouble with the state in recent months for operating more like a bricks-and-mortar charter school than a cyber one.
Amid growing financial problems and state pressure to comply with its 2012 charter, Education Plus in late August closed five learning and tutoring centers statewide and laid off some staff.
On Tuesday, Education Plus officials said they were closing the school's six remaining learning centers. Those shutterings affected 418 students, including 260 in the Philadelphia area, who had been traveling to the centers to receive online instruction in classrooms. Torres said then that those students would have access to online instruction in their homes - the same as the 130 Ed Plus students who took only virtual classes.
The cyber, which opened in 2012, had focused on students with special learning needs.
It was one of the 13 cyber charters in Pennsylvania, which enroll more than 35,000 students.
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