Ears on the SRC: Special Meeting February 8, 2017
by Diane Payne
February 14, 2017
This special meeting of the School Reform Commission was held for the sole purpose of voting on the three remaining charter school applications. A total of five applications were submitted to the district by the November 15th deadline, but the Metropolitan Philadelphia Classical and the Wilbur Wright Aerospace and Aviation Academy applications were subsequently withdrawn. The three remaining applicants were Deep Roots Charter School, Friendship Whittier Charter School, and KIPP Parkside Charter School.
Commissioners present included Chairwoman Joyce Wilkerson, Commissioners Farah Jimenez, Bill Green, and Christopher McGinley. Governor Wolf’s newest appointment, Estelle Richman, has not yet been confirmed by the State Senate, but she did attend the meeting as an observer.
Hearings to analyze the applications were held in December and January by the Charter School Office (CSO) with outside hearing officers overseeing a panel for each applicant. The only notice for these hearings were buried on the district website, so APPS members were not present at the December hearings. However, one or more APPS members attended the January hearings for four applicants (Wilbur Wright Aerospace withdrew before the hearing process, Metropolitan withdrew after). APPS’ Research Committee has written analyses of each charter based on the application itself, information given at the hearing, and independent research.
The CSO also had significant concerns about each of the remaining three applicants. Their reports can be found here on the School District website.
Resolution from the Floor