Girard College Cuts High School Program - New York News

Girard College Cuts High School Program

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PHILADELPHIA -

Girard College board of directors announced plans Monday to eliminate the high school program in their current 1st to 12th-grade boarding school for underprivileged kids.

The Board of Directors of City Trusts for Girard College held a press conference to announce the major changes in operations starting with the 2014-2015 academic year.

The Board's decision follows a two-year review of the financial and infrastructure issues at the free boarding school.

According to spokesman Kevin Feeley, "In order to put us in a situation where Girard can continue long-term, it has to scale back operations right now temporarily."

If the school continues as they are, the president says they would have to close their doors completely in about 20 years.

Daniel Knittel graduated from Girard College in 1993. He expressed sadness upon hearing this announcement, saying, "I feel bad for the current students going here that won't receive what I got from the school, which is a great education and a safe place to live."

When asked about where he would be without the school, Knittel replied, "I don't know... a statistic probably. I was in a bad neighborhood, my mom was a single parent, and this is a way for me to get an education, and it essentially saved my life."

Markel Booker is a senior with a bright future in medicine but says he feels sad for the underclassmen.

"It's going to be hard for them to try to go to a new school when this is their home," he said.

Along with the temporary elimination of 9th to 12th grade, there will also be about 100 layoffs. This will not go into effect for another year, and only after the approval of a judge. As for any hope of adding high school again, officials say there's no realistic timetable right now.

Girard College was founded by 19th century businessman and philanthropist Stephen Girard. It has operated at its historic 43-acre campus continuously since 1848.

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