Ears on the Board of Education: September 19, 2019

By Diane Payne

Seven Mastery Charter Schools and KIPP West Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School were voted on for renewal.  Three of these schools were from the 2015/16 school year. All Charter School negotiations are conducted out of the public view.  Unspecified conditions were originally attached to the school’s renewal by the Charter School Office (CSO) but all conditions were dropped for the renewals on this agenda.  The public has no way of knowing what those conditions were or why those unknown conditions were dropped.

Many staff, parents, and administrators spoke on the toxic conditions found in many of our school buildings advocating for a systemic fix.

Present

President Joyce Wilkerson, Vice-president Wayne Walker, Julia Danzy, Mallory Fix Lopez, Lee Huang, Maria McColgan, Angela McIver, and Chris McGinley were present.  Board member Leticia Egea-Hinton was absent. Nine members of APPS were present; five members spoke in defense of public education and one member submitted written testimony.

Video of the entire Board meeting is posted on the District website and can be found by going to the District website, clicking on Board of Education, scrolling down to “watch previous Board meetings.”

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Defenders of Public Education Speak Before the BOE, September 19, 2019

BOE

Click on the individual’s name to read a transcript of his or her testimony.

Aileen Callaghan on the BOE Report Card

Barbara Dowdall on an Ideal School District

Karel Kilimnik on CSPR, Charter Renewals and Board Transparency

Dr. Cheri Micheau on Policy 138 and the Education of English Language Learners

Dr. Josh Myer on Toxic Schools

Jessica Tilli on Toxic Schools

Deborah Grill on Newsela, School Libraries and Charter Renewals

Zoe Rooney on Newsela Digital Library and Spending Priorities

Lynda Rubin on Charter Renewals

Letter Presented to the Board on Student Voter Education and Engagement

 

 

Finance and Facilities Committee: September 12, 2019

by Lisa Haver

Two positive developments: the acoustics were much better and the Committee members were very responsive to the public speakers.

Present: when the meeting convened at 10 AM, Co-chairs Leticia Egea-Hinton and Lee Huang. Joyce Wilkerson arrived at 10:13; Wayne Walker attended via phone. Angela McIver, Chris McGinley and Julia Danzy arrived later and sat at the head table.   The attendance of other Board members is appreciated, but the Co-chairs should specify who actually serves on the Committee.

The Agenda listed 22 Action Items for possible discussion before the September 19 Action Meeting. No content was included, not even the amount of the contract or grant.  The Committee did address the need to have Items on the Committee agenda at least one week before the Action Meetings. (I reminded the Committee before my testimony that the District, in its legal settlement with APPS on Sunshine Act violations, agreed to post all Action Items at least 2 weeks prior to the Action Meeting.)

Minutes of the June 13 2019 Committee meeting were approved by the Co-chairs.

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Finance & Facilities Committee Meeting: April 11, 2019

by Karel Kilimnik

Present: Co-chairs Lee Huang and Leticia Egea-Hinton and Committee member/Board President Joyce Wilkerson; Committee member Wayne Walker participated telephonically; Board member Chris McGinley attended; Board members Julia Danzy and Maria McColgan entered after the meeting began.

Huang began by thanking community members for their feedback. He invited the public to attend the District Budget meeting to be held on Thursday April 25 at 4 PM prior to the regularly scheduled Board Action Meeting. Huang stated that the Lump Sum Budget was posted on the website after being approved at the March 28 Action meeting. (APPS contends that that vote is not valid because it was taken in a private meeting from which the public was excluded following a disruption of the Action Meeting in the auditorium.)

Charter School Funding Overview

Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson presented his Overview of Charter School Financing. Highlights are listed below. (To listen to the entire meeting and see the Power-Point Presentations )

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