No to Empowerment Charter re-Application and No to renew Tech Freire

Testimony of Ilene Poses to the Board of Education, September 23,2021

Shirley Chilsolm Empowerment Charter was rejected a few months ago, but it’s back again with
basically the same application. The CSO office noted that “the revised budget does not accurately account for significant expenditures, including professional development, utilities, annual lease increases and health insurance.” There is no evidence that the charter can acquire $100,000 from Jounce Partners for one year let alone the 4 following years.

There are no other letters showing support from other foundations in the revised application. There were no substantive corrections in the facility problems of 5210 N. Broad St. which has a Jan.1 2022 deadline. There is inconsistent information regarding annual increases in rent. The budget and narrative are inconsistent with the Letter of Intent with respect to responsibility of utilities. The proposed charter school leader is not even certified as a principal. These are a few of my favorite problems related to this application.

The only beneficiaries of this application are the corporations – Charter Choices, Parliament Real Estate Partners, law offices – NOT the students.
Shirley Chilsolm deserves more respect than this. Her name should not used this way.
Vote no on this barely revised application because…

We know that once a charter is approved, it is almost always renewed. Look at Tech Freire whose
says its mission is to be a college prep school with a computer science emphasis. Its absenteeism is 41%, 0% are enrolled in an IB course or an AP courses. Its chronic absenteeism is 41% and the suspension rates are 28%. The average teacher tenure is 1.3 years compared to the district schools’ tenure of of 13.2 years. Oh yes, the 5 year cost to the district is $37,952,659. Will you
vote to renew this struggling charter? I hope not.