APPS Statement on Surprise Resignations and Replacements on SRC

SRC 3 3-15-18
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission: Chris McKinley, Bill Green, Estelle Richman, Joyce Wilkerson; Superintendent William Hite
The day after the schools closed for spring break, district stakeholders woke up to find out that major changes have taken place in the governance of the city’s public schools.

In a surprise move, two members of the SRC have resigned, and they have already been replaced by two people chosen by the mayor. The governor has already named the new chair. No mention of these changes was made at last week’s SRC meeting.These changes, planned and implemented without consultation of district stakeholders, serves to highlight the disenfranchisement of the people of the city when it comes to choosing those who make decisions on the future of the city’s public schools. The mayor expects the public to pay the bills, including another increase in property taxes, but to have no say in how the money is spent. The stakeholders and taxpayers, apparently, are expected to play the role of passive observers watching as the pieces are moved around the chessboard.

The SRC will be approving a $3 billion budget in the coming months just before its dissolution. This lame-duck Commission will be voting on that budget.

The mayor will be appointing a new school board next week. In violation of the PA Sunshine Act, there have been no public meetings at which the people of the city could weigh in, pro or con, on the candidates, or to raise concerns about possible conflicts.

Also see APPS in the news:
Two SRC members resign, opening path to a new board | Philadelpia Tribune – 3/29/18