Eyes on the SRC: July 6, 2017


by Karel Kilimnik
June 30, 2016

The SRC continues to violate the court-ordered settlement with APPS they signed only a year ago in which they agreed to post resolutions at least two weeks before each action meeting. As of the date of this publication of Eyes, there is no Resolution Summary, Resolution List, or agenda posted on the district website for the July 6 SRC meeting. When this meeting was announced at the June 20 special meeting held at 2 PM, there was no explanation of why it will be held at 11 AM instead of the usual 4:30 PM. It is hard to come to any conclusion other than times are chosen for the convenience of the commissioners. Clearly the unelected SRC—a government body overseeing a $2.9 billion budget—believes it does not have to consider the needs of the stakeholders of the district.

Dr. Hite said on June 20 that the purpose of the July 6 meeting was to consider, once again, a resolution to enter into a $54 million contract with the for-profit company Catapult to manage a separate facility for students with special needs. Since that resolution, IU-7, was withdrawn before both the June 15 and June 20 action meetings, that statement cannot be trusted.

There has been intense opposition to the district’s plan to segregate some students with special needs from parents and community members. (LINK TO EARS)

The next meeting of the SRC will be held July 6 at 11 a.m.

NOTE: The district website states that persons wishing to speak must call by Friday June 30. However, the legal notice placed by the SRC in the Inquirer instructs people to “cal1 215 400 4180 no later than 11 a.m. on the business day immediately preceding the day of the meeting”, which would be July 5.

We have emailed Chair Joyce Wilkerson and the commissioners asking for clarification and requesting that they adhere to the July 5 deadline. (See below.) We pointed out that they were requiring that people sign up to speak before the SRC told anyone what was on the agenda.

 Dear Chair Wilkerson,

The deadline for persons wishing to speak for the July 6 Special Meeting has been posted on the district website as Friday, June 30.  That change in policy was not announced when the SRC announced the special meeting on June 20.  There was also no explanation of why the meeting time was 11 AM instead of the usual 4:30 PM.

No Resolution List or Resolution Summary have been posted for the July 6 meeting. That is a violation of the Sunshine Act Settlement which states that resolutions will be posted two weeks prior to action meetings.

The SRC is not giving the public the information it needs about this meeting, as well as making it more difficult to have a say in what the SRC may be considering and/or voting on. In fact, it appears that the public’s opportunity to speak will be cut off before the SRC tells the public what is on the agenda.

District offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday.  However, persons wishing to register to speak would be able to leave messages which could be returned on Wednesday.  They could also call Wednesday by noon.  That would give staff adequate opportunity to contact those persons and to formulate the list before Thursday’s meeting.

We request that you change the deadline for public speakers to Wednesday at noon.

Lisa Haver
Karel Kilimnik


As of late Thursday, June 29th, the District website now says to call 215-400-4180 by Wednesday July 5th at 11 a.m to speak at the July 6th SRC meeting. Resolutions are still not posted.

Also see:
SRC to vote Thursday on downsized proposal for new special education program | The Notebook – July 5. 2017

ew, $10M special-ed school for Philly kids draws fire | Philadelphia Inquirer = July 5, 2017

Ears on the SRC: June 15, 2017

SRC -2

by Diane Payne
June 24, 2017

AWOL Again

Four of the five commissioners were present for the entire meeting. Once again, Commissioner Bill Green was absent without explanation for most of the meeting, appearing near the end of the public speakers. He arrived at 8 PM for a meeting that began at 4:30. The fact that he missed all of the staff presentations, including those on charter renewal and amendments, did not stop him from voting on all resolutions. This same kind of unexplained absence occurred at the meetings of April 27th and May 1st when he again missed most of the meeting arriving in time to vote on resolutions.

The SRC by-laws do not specify the consequences of a commissioner missing most of an Action Meeting, then voting on resolutions. SRC Policy 006.1 states:

To attend a SRC meeting through electronic communications, a Commissioner shall comply with the following:

a. Submit such request to the SRC Chairperson or designee at least three (3) days prior to the meeting.

b. Ensure that the remote location is quiet and free from background noise and interruptions.

c. Participate in the entire SRC meeting

The question that must be addressed by Chair Wilkerson: should a commissioner who misses most of the meeting, who has little knowledge of the issues on the table, be permitted to vote?

 Defenders of Public Education

APPS members held a Requiem for Shuttered Schools at 440 before the SRC meeting. Malcolm Kenyatta spoke on behalf of State Rep. Curtis Thomas, who fought to save William Penn High School and Harrison Elementary. Members of Parents United for Public Education, Our City Our Schools, Save Smith School and a number of other community groups spoke against Hite’s plan to close three neighborhood schools each year for the next five years.

At the SRC meeting, in addition to ten APPS members, fourteen speakers including students, parents, district staff and community members from the Our City Our Schools Coalition (OCOS) called for the abolishment of the SRC in their testimonies. OCOS asked the SRC to commit to a timeline that would have them vote to abolish that body by Fall 2017. After a vote to abolish, it will take another 180 days before the PA Secretary of Education can approve this measure. There is a sense of urgency around this demand in light of the latest national election and the appointment of Betsy DeVos as head US Secretary of Education, in addition to fears of what the outcome of the next PA gubernatorial election might bring. Philadelphia is the only one of the state’s 499 districts that has imposed state control and which disenfranchises voters from choosing an elected school board.   We have had 16 years of SRC governance with nothing to show for it except a loss of democratic voice and services to our children.

SRC’s Willful, Continuous Violations of the Letter and Spirit of the Sunshine Act

Click here to read the rest of the post.


SRC vote on the PFT contract and APPS comment

SRC meeting 6-20-17
Click the picture to view the SRC discussion and vote on the PFT contract.

On June 20, 2017 the Philadelphia School Reform Commission met to vote on the contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

Click on the above picture to view the discussion and vote on the PFT contract.

Click on each of the pictures below to view individual videos of comments of APPS members before the SRC discussion and vote on the PFT contract.

Click here to see all four of the videos.

Note: The problem with the camera angle and interruptions in the field of view are due to placement of the camera. The SRC has confined our camera to a “press box” which is located in the middle of the audience thus the quality of the video.

Testimony of APPS member Lisa Haver at the June 20th SRC meeting.

Lisa Haver SRC 6-20-17
Click the picture to view the video.

Testimony of APPS member Rich Migliore at the June 20th SRC meeting.


Rich Migliore at SRC 6-20-17Click the picture to view the video.

Testimony of APPS member Lynda Rubin at the June 20th SRC meeting.

Lynda Rubin SRC 6-2017
Click on the picture to view the video.


Defenders of Public Education Speak at the SRC meeting on June 15, 2017.

SRC demo
Click the picture to view the video.

Testimony transcripts of some APPS members.

Barbara McDowell Dowdall testimony transcript from the June 15, 2017 SRC meeting.

Diane Payne’s testimony transcript from the June 15, 2017 SRC meeting.

Ilene Poses testimony transcript from the June 15, 2017 SRC meeting.

Dr. Cheri Micheau testimony transcript from the June 15, 2017 SRC meeting.

Lynda Rubin testimony transcript from the June 15, 2017 SRC meeting.