The Borough of Midland was an economic and cultural powerhouse through most of the 20th century, thanks to its vibrant steel industry. Like many similar communities, Midland suffered a devastating decline beginning in the late 1970s and culminating with the closure of the Crucible Steel Mill in 1982.
Lost Steel. Lost Opportunity.
Midland's influence as a hub of industrial and cultural progress seemed to diminish overnight, and the community faced an economic and educational crisis. The community's population dropped quickly as people moved out of the area to search for new jobs. Midland's tax base fell dramatically which, combined with declining enrollment, forced city officials to shut down Midland's public high school in 1986.
In the ensuing years, there was a great sense of anxiety among high school students and their families because there was not a single community in Beaver County that would agree to educate the students from Midland on a long-term basis.
In 1990, the community of East Liverpool, Ohio, approximately 10 miles from Midland, agreed to educate the high school students from Midland for the next 20 years. The development was a great relief to the students, families and community leaders in Midland but raised concerns in Harrisburg and throughout the state because Pennsylvania tax dollars were now being sent to Ohio to educate Pennsylvanians.
New Law. New Chances.
In 1997, a new charter school law in Pennsylvania created a new opportunity for the community of Midland. The next year, Midland received a $25,000 state grant to put together a plan to address the educational crisis in its community.
Under the leadership of Dr. Nick Trombetta, the Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School was created and started accepting students in the fall of 2000. Utilizing a truly cutting-edge approach, PA Cyber forged an innovative union of modern technology and proven academic methodologies to deliver high-quality educational choices to students and families.
Originally designed to provide educational services to approximately 50 students from Midland, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter Schools had over 500 students enroll in the first year and it has seen rapid growth ever since. Currently PA Cyber has enrolled over 10,000 students across the entire state of Pennsylvania.