Testimony of Lynda Rubin, Public Hearing for New Charter Schools, December 20, 2019

Testimony against HS2L Charter Application

This District has been investing in, and increasing, its CTE programs especially in Health Related fields. The investment has been made in 12 different schools in 12 different neighborhoods throughout the city, using 6 different health related programs offering 35 certifications for both entry level occupations and as a platform to continue toward higher level occupations. Those schools include, Kensington Health Sciences (KHSA), A. Philip Randolph, Mastbaum, Edison, Martin Luther King, Lincoln, Overbrook, Paul Robeson, Sayre, South Philadelphia, Swenson and FLC , many partnered with the same hospitals and universities that are touted in this application. We have no need for such a charter school and it would be disruptive to our existing school programs.

Though this charter group states that it would partner with our existing programs, their Narrative is silent on partnering, only expanding as if our CTE programs don’t exist. The Narrative is, however, chock full of finance and investment backers from foundations and charter privatization companies such as PSP, Susquehanna Investment Group, Neubauer Foundation, with corporate PR presentations. But their PD, as well as their teaching staff, will come from unaccredited Relay, TNTP-PhillyPLUS and, of all places, Jounce, a harmful robotic and punitive behavior program that is injurious to teachers and students alike. These are programs we’re dropping.

Universities and Hospitals have become privatized and function more as business corporations with eyes on their bottom lines, not services provided. We have only to look at the Hahnemann Hospital debacle while under the leadership of Drexel University and which, by the way, was brought in by Drexel Board member John Fry, with empty promises. Hahnemann was not only the emergency center of choice and a safety-net hospital, but also had training programs for resident physicians, nurses and technicians. Within 18 months after being sold to a privatized Health System, Hahnemann was legally severed from its valuable priced land and the hospital then shut down as “not financially viable”. Doctors mid-way through resident programs were left scrambling to find alternate residencies, if they could. Philadelphia almost lost renowned St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in this fiasco. The sellers, however, are doing quite well financially.

What makes you think our schools and students will be treated any better?
PSP fronted for this Matheny/Neubauer Charter school doing reconnaissance at KHSA and misrepresenting their intentions to gain info to use against KHSA in their application. This is a cabal!

Currently, Temple University, after buying Fox Chase Cancer Center, is selling it to Jefferson – who’s busy studying the municipal bond rates. The Inquirer stated, “The nonprofit also has board members who are supposed to represent community interests, but they won’t get to vote on the sale of Temple’s shares to Jefferson.”

Public services are increasingly used as checker pieces for private financial gain and discarded at will.