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Hebrew-Language Charter School to Close at End of Month

October 16, 2013
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This 2012 flyer, displayed in the window of the Solomon Charter School, advertised Hebrew and Chinese language instruction. Photo by Greg Bezanis

The Solomon Charter School, the only publicly funded school in the region with a Hebrew-language program, will shut its doors at the end of the month. It is not clear if administrators will try to reopen the institution next year.

The closing comes as the school had been contesting the State Department of Education’s push to revoke its charter. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the decision to close was in part based on the discovery that one of the two buildings used for classrooms shared space with a mental health clinic that treats sex offenders.

“I wanted those kids out of the building,” David Weathington, principal and acting chief executive officer of Solomon, told the Inquirer.

The school was also facing a lawsuit from a student who claimed he’d been Tasered by security guards inside the building.

Solomon, located in the Chinatown section of the city, was ­initially conceived as a Hebrew-language school. Backers had hoped that the institution would attract a number of Jewish families. But as of last February — the last time school officials granted an interview to the Exponent — it had no Jewish students.

Weathington, who replaced founder Steve Crane as acting CEO of the school, wrote on its website that the board “spent many hours deliberating about how to keep the school open despite safety concerns and financial instability.”

The posting stated that there are several charter schools willing to enroll Solomon’s 350 or so students.

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