Testimony of Ilene Poses at the New Charter Applications Hearing, December 20, 2019

Why Say Yes to the HS2L charter application?

First, the district can’t afford to take away more money from the public schools.  If the state legislature can say they don’t have the money to fund a project, why can’t the BOE do the same thing?  Why sacrifice more student lives to satisfy another charter operator?  Money to correct our unsafe, toxic schools should be our first priority.

Second, the district has been increasing its CTE programs across the city.  Health and medical services are already part of the district’s program with over 15 certification areas:  Kensington Health and Sciences, Randolph and Mastbaum, Edison, Lincoln, King, Edison, Overbrook, and Robeson are already committed and have partnerships with medical centers and universities. 

Since May I have mentioned a 45 year old successful program that is both innovative and geared to the individual – Auxillary Hospital Support Program.  And no one has bothered to meet with the head of this program, Mark Spiller who has partnered with Einstein Hospital.  This program would cost the district nothing and could be replicated in other parts of the district.

Why do we accept PSP money that has strings on it?  If they truly cared about district students wouldn’t they just give the money to the programs already operating successfully.  I’m sure KHSA could benefit from extra financial support.  Instead PSP controls the purse strings and only gives money to a new charter with an unproven record.  This is not about competition rather it is about poaching on the district models that are working and diverting money into private pockets.

Finally, do you want to say to PSP – in the words of Stevie Wonder – “signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours.  You got the students’ future in your hands.”