Click on the picture to view the testimony of defenders of public education.
Click here to view the testimony and read the transcripts of supporters of Strawberry Mansion High school.
Click here to view the testimony and read the transcripts of supporters of Mayfair School.
Transcripts of APPS members testimony before the SRC.
Transcripts are in the order of appearance at the meeting.
Click Diane Payne’s picture to read the transcript of her testimony before the SRC.
Click Ilene Poses picture to read the transcript of her testimony before the SRC.
Click Lynda Rubin’s picture to read the transcript of her testimony before the SRC.
Click Lisa Haver’s picture to read the transcript of her testimony before the SRC.
Click Barbara Dowdall’s picture to read the transcript of her testimony before the SRC.
Click Karel Kilimnik’s picture to read the transcript of her testimony before the SRC.
by Diane Payne
June 4, 2018
All four sitting commissioners were present for this meeting. Three members of APPS and several community members spoke in defense of public education, including six who opposed Dr. Hite’s plan to close Strawberry Mansion as a comprehensive high school. They cited reasons why the Strawberry Mansion community needs to keep a high school open in the rapidly gentrifying area.
To view these testimonies go to APPS.net
Commissioners Attempt to Justify Failing to Carry Out Their Public Duty
Two Commissioners offered justifications for voting to approve charter schools despite having serious concerns about them. Commissioner Fran Burns read a statement at the beginning of the meeting about the SRC’s approval of another Franklin Towne Charter school. Chairwoman Estelle Richman, along with Commissioner Burns, admitted that there were several areas in which the Philadelphia Hebrew Charter School (PHCS) application was deficient–just before voting to approve it.
At the previous meeting, APPS co-founder Lisa Haver asked the Commissioners to explain why they approved the Franklin Towne Charter Middle School (FTCMS) re-application after it had denied virtually the same application in February. APPS had sent the SRC a letter asking for an explanation but received no response. Haver pointed out that FTCMS had failed to address concerns raised by the Charter Schools Office (CSO) in over thirty areas. Burns said she had an explanation but would not answer until the next meeting (even though Haver had ceded most of her time so the SRC would answer then). At this meeting, Burns said that she voted to approve even though there was serious concerns because she felt the “conditions” imposed by the CSO addressed those concerns. That is, a charter operator can submit a seriously flawed application, not once but twice, and the CSO will rewrite it for them, adding conditions that the charter company had not yet agreed to, paving the way for the charter to begin to collect tax dollars.
by Diane Payne
June 1, 2018
SRC Limping to June 30th
Both the elected and appointed officials who control the SRC seem to hold the people of Philadelphia in very low regard. Mayor Kenney removed two of the previous Commissioners, Chris McGinley and Joyce Wilkerson, so that they would be able to serve on his newly-appointed school board. Their seats were filled by two placeholders, former SRC Chair Marge Neff and former district staff member Fran Burns. In addition, the SRC has been conducting business with only four seats filled because of Governor Wolf’s decision not to replace Farah Jimenez after she unexpectedly resigned in February. Bill Green showed his disrespect for district stakeholders by skipping yet another meeting (we’ve lost count of all the meetings he has been absent or late for in the last year). The charter schools Green supports can fire staff without explanation or due process, and Green can be absent without explanation or regard for the community. We did wonder whether the SRC withdrew two resolutions concerning charters just prior to the meeting, without explanation, because of Green’s absence. Present at this meeting were: Chairwoman Estelle Richman and Commissioners Fran Burns and Marge Neff.
Five members of APPS testified in support of public education at this meeting. In addition, four members of the public testified on behalf of public education.
SRC Spending Priorities Remain Unclear