Student Achievement Committee Report: April 11, 2019

by Lynda Rubin

The Board of Education denied three new charter applications in February. The question now is whether they will continue the SRC’s practice of allowing back-door charter expansion through yearly amendment requests from charters and whether they will make this an open process for full public engagement.

Present: Committee members Chris McGinley, Angela McIver, Leticia Egea-Hinton, Maria McColgan and student representative Alfredo Praticò; Committee member Mallory Fix Lopez was absent. Board President Joyce Wilkerson sat in the audience.

Dr. McIver announced that Kindergarten registration begins May 31, 2019. The Board Budget Hearing will be held on April 25, 2019, 4:00 PM in the 2nd floor auditorium prior to the regularly scheduled Action Meeting at 5:00 pm.

The minutes for the March 14, 2019 Student Achievement Committee Meeting were approved.

Click here to read the rest of the report

Finance & Facilities Committee Meeting: April 11, 2019

by Karel Kilimnik

Present: Co-chairs Lee Huang and Leticia Egea-Hinton and Committee member/Board President Joyce Wilkerson; Committee member Wayne Walker participated telephonically; Board member Chris McGinley attended; Board members Julia Danzy and Maria McColgan entered after the meeting began.

Huang began by thanking community members for their feedback. He invited the public to attend the District Budget meeting to be held on Thursday April 25 at 4 PM prior to the regularly scheduled Board Action Meeting. Huang stated that the Lump Sum Budget was posted on the website after being approved at the March 28 Action meeting. (APPS contends that that vote is not valid because it was taken in a private meeting from which the public was excluded following a disruption of the Action Meeting in the auditorium.)

Charter School Funding Overview

Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson presented his Overview of Charter School Financing. Highlights are listed below. (To listen to the entire meeting and see the Power-Point Presentations )

Click here to read the rest of the report

APPS plans to challenge school board, alleging violation of the Sunshine Act

Board president Joyce Wilkerson says there are no plans to take new votes.

APPS plans to challenge school board, alleging violation of the Sunshine Act

Published in The Notebook

April 3, 2019

The Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools (APPS) plans to pursue its challenge, in court if necessary,  of how the Board of Education responded to a disruption during its March 28 meeting. The members recessed to a private room and continued the meeting there, and APPS members contend that this violated the state’s open meetings law, known as the Sunshine Act.

The board left the auditorium after students and adults who were furious at its 7-2 vote to adopt a policy requiring metal detectors in all schools shouted and chanted, making it very difficult to continue conducting business.

“If we have to, we will sue them,” said APPS co-founder Lisa Haver. “This is a bad precedent. We understand they were put in a bad position … but they’ll have to fix it.”

Click here to read the rest of the article

Letter to the Board of Education Regarding a Violation of the Sunshine Act and the Board’s Response

After a disruption of the March 28, 2019 Action Meeting of the Board of Education, the Board members left the public auditorium and continued the meeting in a private room to vote on Agenda Items – a clear violation of the Sunshine Act. Below is our letter to the Board calling for them to reconvene to take a public vote on those Action Items.

 

April 1, 2019

Dear President Wilkerson and Members of the Board,

We write to you regarding the Board’s decision to hold a private meeting during its scheduled Action Meeting last Thursday.

After the meeting was interrupted by protestors, the Board voted to recess. Only four of the Action Items had been voted on. Over thirty public speakers had not yet been called. I left the auditorium after the recess was called and went down to the front desk to try to find out what was going on when I saw Board members walking toward the Board offices. I asked where the Board was going- twice- but received no response.

While waiting for the meeting to reconvene, we found out from someone in the audience, not from any District staff, that the Board was meeting in the Committee Room. A group of about ten to fifteen attendees, including APPS members came to that room and asked to be admitted. We were barred from entering by several school police officers who told us they had been directed not to let any member of the public in. We told them that no one in our group had taken part in the disruption of the meeting in the auditorium.

Click here to read the rest of the letter and the Board’s response