Diane Payne SRC testimony – May 26, 2016

Diane Payne SRC 5-27-16
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Synonyms for ethics include the words honor and honorable. This SRC’s actions toward public schools and the staff who work in them are not honorable. I am requesting that the SRC vote to cease their oversight of the SDP and return the district to public accountability for the following reasons:

There has been no PFT contract for 3 years. This has resulted in three years of financial harm to the professionals struggling to pay student loans and mortgages yet who are still there for kids.

At the recent return to the bargaining table, district officials have offered the demeaning and insulting provisions of: no raises, no advanced degree compensation, longer school hours, and contributions for health coverage which will result in significant pay cuts to name just some of the district’s insults

The District Counsel ruling that there is no conflict of interest with Commissioner Simms, her sister Quibila Divine and Divine’s connection to the pro charter company Citizen Consulting. The subsequent failure of Simms and Divine to answer any of the questions raised in the February 29th Notebook article on this appearance of conflict.

Commissioner Jimenez’s acceptance of a lead position at the Philadelphia Education Fund followed by district counsel once again ruling that there is no conflict of interest. Even though PEF is an organization whose mission is to influence district policy. City Council Representative Oh questioned SD officials twice because of his trouble understanding why this is not a conflict.

The disclosure, upon APPS RTK requests, of Commissioner Green’s cozy email exchange with a high ranking PSP official regarding the Wister/Mastery match just days before the surprise motion from the floor. The subsequent failure of the SRC to release any further emails between these parties and the cloud of unanswered questions of influence that surrounds this entire process.

The SRC’s early renewal of Broad trained Dr. Hite’s contract expressing faith in his performance until it doesn’t jive with Commissioner Simms’ and Commissioner Green’s desire to expand charters as in the case of Wister/Mastery.

Proclaiming faith in the CSO until their recommendation for the non-renewal of Stetson, Olney, Audenried, and Vare doesn’t jive with Commissioner Green’s desire to maintain charters at any cost. Then, his maneuver of abstaining to stall the non-renewal vote.

The perplexing appearance of an influential attorney, Ken Trujillo, from a firm that has had ties to the district to plead for Aspira’s renewal in a capacity that is hard to understand. The special consideration he received by moving him from the speakers list (3 speaking minutes) to an untimed opportunity to lobby for Aspira.

These 8 points are all my three minutes allows. To be continued….