Richard Migliore testimony before the SRC – February 8, 2017

richard-migliore-src-2-8-27

Topic:

Legislative Intent of the Charter School Law,

The Legal Requirement of an “Independent Board of Trustees”

And the Improper use of “Circular Management Agreements”

And “Circular Lease Agreements”

Dear Commissioners:

I urge you to Deny the charter applications for all of the proposed charters because none of them comply with the Legislative Intent of the Charter School Law.

Nowhere in the legislative Intent section of the CSL, 24 P.S. § 17-12-A, copy attached, does it state that the intent is to create charter chains for so called “charter operators” and management organizations from outside of Pennsylvania and Our Community.

KIPP’s Application does not meet the requirements of a “charter school.” New charter schools require independent boards of trustees from the founding management company. That is well settled in charter school case law. KIPPS application is not an application for a new charter school. It is an application for expansion of its management organization. That is not contemplated by the Charter School Law.

Friendship Whittier Charter School also has the same fatal flaws as KIPP’s. It is, if you look behind its veil, little more than a for-profit company masquerading as a charter school. Its “circular management intentions”, like KIPP’s, allows for our children’s money to be circumvented into very private pockets at an outrageous expense. Circular management agreements and circular lease arrangements are unethical processes which Auditor General De Pasquale has pointed out time and time again.

Such management problems have been pointed out by the Charter School Office. Whittier’s application is so ridiculous that it belies any competency at all to educate our children well. So is Deep Roots’ application so ridiculously absurd that it demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the educational process and high standards of pedagogy.

There is no community support for any of these applications. They do not “create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site.” They do not provide the opportunity for “the community” to be responsible for the learning program, nor for the community to have any “say” or control over the management of these non-public schools.

All of these applications are self-serving in nature. They in no way enhance what we as a city-wide school community do for our children. In fact they diminish what we do for all of our children by draining much needed resources from the other children’s schools and our school community.

They do not enhance public education in any way. They drain resources into very private pockets.

And financial concerns are very well part of the consideration and deliberation you, the SRC, are legally responsible to make. You have a legal duty to act in the best interests of our total school community.

We do not serve those who want to profit from our children.

Respectfully submitted,

Rich Migliore

Attorney at Law

                                               Teacher at Heart