Testimony of Lynda Rubin to the BOE, April 30, 2020

Opposition to Items #4 (Lab Charter amendment), #7 (People for People renewal)

I urge the Board to Reject the Laboratory Charter amendment to move even part of its program to 3300 Henry Ave. It currently has 3 locations for K-8 on opposite sides of the City. Last year they petitioned to move all three locations to 3300 Henry Ave, in direct competition with the East Falls neighborhood school, Mifflin. They lied to the CSO and to you about having done outreach to the Mifflin community. You sent them back with instructions to do so. Now Lab Charter is back claiming they did “extensive outreach”, which has been well-refuted by many East Falls residents and parents. Having failed last year, Lab Charter hoped to appease East Falls by sending its K-5 to 926 Sedgley Avenue and 6-8 to 3300 Henry. Whether or not they did any due diligence at Sedgely Ave, they certainly put off the East Falls community again. This continued disregard for the rights of existing District run neighborhood schools to exist and improve as well as ignoring this Board’s instructions, is not a good sign for them to honestly submit to District oversight in the future. Mifflin School teachers, parents and community have worked diligently to improve the quality of “the school close to where their children live”, to quote Dr. Hite, and are succeeding. You must deny this amendment, especially as to 3300 Henry Ave.

I’m also calling on the Board to deny the renewal recommendation of People for People. Last year you rejected their request for a second high school and now you recognize that People for People should not have any high school. However, People for People still Does Not Meet either Organizational or Financial Health standards. Why have standards if you’re going to ignore them?