By Lisa Haver
At its June 16 meeting, SRC Chair Marge Neff announced that the June 30 meeting, posted for months on the district’s website, would be moved to July 1 at 10:00 AM—on the cusp of the July 4th holiday weekend. The last time the SRC held a morning meeting, it cancelled the PFT contract, so our antennae are up.
Responding to pressure from APPS, Ms. Neff promised last year to post resolutions at least two weeks before the meeting. But a promise is not a law, so it can be broken anytime—without any penalty—as it has for the last two meetings. In addition to the 130+ resolutions originally posted, the SRC added a significant number of resolutions in the days before the June 16 meeting. That makes it even more difficult to see how much corporate funding is influencing district priorities and how little is actually making it to classrooms. If a resolution is added the day before, there is no way to speak on it until the next meeting—after the resolution has been passed. As of this writing Tuesday, no resolutions have been posted for the Friday meeting.
Given the SRC’s recent action, or lack of action, on the Renaissance renewals, we believe that it is crucial for people to attend this meeting. The SRC has, in effect, rejected the reports presented by its own Charter School Office on the Aspira and Universal schools. The CSO recommended in April that the SRC vote not to renew charters for Aspira Olney High School, Aspira Stetson Middle School, Universal Vare and Universal Audenried. The CSO gave numerous reasons—academic, financial, managerial—why these schools should not be renewed. Rather than accept the CSO’s report, the SRC has entered into private negotiations with Aspira. The Universal renewals have not appeared on the list of the last two meetings, and the SRC has not said when it will vote on them.
We teach our children about democracy, but the SRC, once again, does not feel the need to practice it.
Note: Lisa’s commentary on the subject of the SRC and its failure to observe the rules of democracy is published in Tuesday’s Philadelphia Daily News: