Although no resolution has been posted regarding ASPIRA for Thursday’s (August 19th) SRC meeting, it is possible that the SRC will add a resolution for renewal at the last minute.
Below are the intros to the City and State Pennsylvania article and the letter to Mayor Kenney with links to the full text.
Education advocates call for investigation of Philly charter schools
City and State Pennsylvania – August 12, 2016
by Ryan Briggs
The Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, an educational advocacy group, has called for the city’s Inspector General and Chief Integrity Officer, Board of Ethics and the Mayor’s office to investigate the relationship between School Reform Commission members and the troubled ASPIRA charter school organization.
The charter operator has been flagged by the School District of Philadelphia’s charter office for repeated academic and financial failings, but has remained in operation for more than a year due to the repeated postponement of a charter renewal vote.
The letter accuses School Reform Commission members of engaging in a “private appeals process” to benefit the charter at the public’s expense.
APPS member Lisa Haver accused SRC members Bill Green and Sylvia Simms in particular of colluding with school operators to keep the school in operation through “ex parte” negotiations held outside of SRC meetings
“The School District charter office’s own reports recommended nonrenewal,” she said. “They’re working it out behind closed doors. It’s a violation of public trust.”
Haver said that Green and Simms had formed “a voting bloc” bent on keeping ASPIRA running in spite of its failing record at Olney High School and Stetson Middle School, which the operator took over four and five years ago, respectively.
APPS letter to Mayor Kenney Calling for an Investigation into SRC Actions on Aspira
Dear Mayor Kenney,
On behalf of the members of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, we are writing to request that the City’s Chief Integrity Officer, Ellen Kaplan, conduct a full investigation into the actions of the School Reform Commission during its current renewal procedure of the charters for Aspira Stetson School and Aspira Olney School. We have attended all of the SRC meetings in April and May of this year when these resolutions were considered, and we have serious concerns that the public has been denied the right to a fair and impartial process in these matters.