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Ethics Board And Mastery Charter Schools Agree To Settlement

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia Ethics Board said Mastery Charter Schools has agreed to a settlement over violations of the city's lobbying law.

The allegations stem from Mastery Charter Schools' efforts to organize parents to generate public support for a conversion of Wister Elementary School from district-run to a Mastery charter.

The School Reform Commission, with a walk-on resolution, approved the conversion earlier this year over the wishes of the Superintendent.

Ethics Board executive director Shane Creamer said Mastery spent more than the $2500 threshold for lobbying in the first and second quarters of this year, but failed to report it.

"The public is entitled to get information about paid efforts to influence decision-making," Creamer said. "And that's why we have these quarterly expense reports that principals have to file."

Creamer said Mastery has agreed to pay $2000 in fines, and he said the woman Mastery hired to organize parents has agreed to register as a lobbyist.

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