Judge bars changes at Girard College

A judge has ruled that a Philadelphia school founded more than a century and a half ago to serve disadvantaged students cannot suspend its high school and boarding programs to help solve its financial problems.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Orphans Court Judge Joseph O’Keefe said those programs were critical parts of the 1831 bequest that created Girard College.

On that basis, O’Keefe denied a petition by the board overseeing Girard College seeking permission to amend the will of merchant-banker Stephen Girard to make the planned changes for the fall of 2015.

Board spokesman Kevin Feeley said the decision “only prolongs the financial uncertainty that now threatens the future of Girard College.” He said it was too soon to say whether the board would appeal.

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