Lynda Rubin SRC testimony – April 28, 2016

Lynda Rubin SRC video 4-28-16
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The SRC was created in 2001 because the School District complained that without more financial help from the State it couldn’t turn out better educational results. During these 14 ½ years, you’ve toyed with giving away all of the schools to private managers, then experimented in giving just some of the schools to private managers and sometimes changing the private managers of individual schools. Some of those private managers aren’t in business any longer or have merged with or have been taken over by other private managers or EMOs. Some have stolen or mismanaged taxpayer money and were or are now under federal investigation. Even the Universities have opted out of your EMO management model. The academic success of these takeovers is marginal at best and in others even worse than District run schools.

The SRC’s march toward privatization of public schools using taxpayer money reminds me of the hostile corporate takeovers of the 1980’s when corporations would drive businesses toward bankruptcy in order to force them to sell their companies to the corporate sharks. The difference between those corporate sharks who were only interested in profits for themselves and shareholders and Boards such as yourselves who oversee public institutions, is that you have, or should have, a fiduciary responsibility to all of the Philadelphia public school children each and every day, not to the public-private, or whatever you call it, mission you’re on. Schools need direction, collaboration and continuity, not chaos. With your continual turn-over of some public schools and lack of staff and resources to other schools, you’ve created chaos and unequal educational opportunities in Philadelphia.

Further, you, the SRC have failed to stabilize the financial status of the District and to improve the delivery of a thorough and efficient education to public school students throughout the City.

Mr. Green, you’ve been quoted as saying that if you were still Chairperson, the State might be willing to give more money. Well, they didn’t do it when you were, and I question why this would matter now. This isn’t, after all, supposed to be about you or any of the rest of the SRC Board members. It’s supposed to be about the education of all of Philadelphia’s public school students.

And now you’re working on failing a second generation of our City’s students. I’d like to know where are the Educational Ethics in that? I’d also like to know to whom do each of you answer since Governor Corbett and Mayor Nutter, the men who appointed all of you, are no longer in office?

Isn’t almost 15 years enough time to decide that the SRC has failed our public school students and should be disbanded?

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