Testimony of Deborah Grill to the BOE, February 27, 2020

At last weeks Student Achievement and Support Committee meeting Mr. Monson focused on the funds the district loses due to overpayments to charters for special ed students.
Tonight I would like to look at overpayments to charter school CEOs. First of all what does a CEO do? I assume he or she oversees the finances and services of the school or schools they supervises, similar to what Dr. Hite does. Let’s look at a few salaries.

Franklin Towne’s CEO is paid $238,628 for 2 schools. That comes to $119,314 per school. Dr. Hite supervises 215 District schools. If Dr. Hite was paid accordingly his salary would come to $25.6 million dollars.

First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter’s CEO, whose school was recently featured in an article concerning budget problems possibly related to the identification of special ed students, and who is now on leave, earns $182,261. Again, if Dr. Hite were paid at that rate he would be making a little over 39 million dollars.

The CEO of String Theory Schools is paid $208,161 to manage a system of 2 schools. A salary that has tripled over the course of 5 years. If Dr. Hite were paid at the same rate he would be making 22.3 million dollars.

String Theory’s 2 schools have their own CEOs who are paid $111,250 and $88,000 apiece. Interestingly, the former CEO of their Edmunds campus was paid $264,000 the year she resigned to form her own consulting company which lists String Theory’s Philadelphia Performing Arts School as well First Philadelphia Charter School for Literacy, now called First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School, as clients. But I don’t have time to go down that rabbit hole.

Of course, we can only guess at what the Health Sciences Leadership Charter CEO would make. I imagine it would be a generous sum. After all, the founding coalition of a school whose program was formulated through deception would have no qualms about paying their CEO so generously.

The are already 87 charter schools in Philadelphia. The District can’t afford to contribute to another charter school CEO’s salary without further cutting resources for students in District managed schools. Vote no on these two applications.