The transcript of Karel Kilimnik testimony.

Click the picture above and move the slider to timestamp 40:29 to view Karel’s testimony.

Karel Kilimnik

I want to commend the SRC for denying 6 of 7 charter school applicants in February. Three have reapplied.  I urge you to deny them again. In the face of a looming deficit there is no reason to grant any more charters. CFO Uri Monson has stated repeatedly that charter schools are the largest budget item. Attorney David Lappknocked holes in the excuse that financial distress is not a valid reason to deny their application. Their revised applications fail to address concerns raised by the Charter School Office. APPS reviewed their applications and found deep-rooted problems with every single one.

  • For example, Franklin Towne Charter School wants a 450 student Middle School. They already run a k-8 elementary and a high school so why do they need a separate middle school? Remember that their elementary school is 83% white and the high school 75%.
  • As to Philadelphia Hebrew Charter School why do we need a school teaching Hebrew and promoting the study of Israel, a country that routinely violates the human rights of Palestinians and recently deported male African refugees? Their revised application claims that they will use teacher recruitment programs with track records attracting & training teachers of color and yet at their hearing they proudly stated they recruit teachers from Israel.

The SRC is a lame duck body disappearing June 30 presently making decisions that will impact our district for years. Rarely does a charter school close. They stumble along draining dollars from district schools. Do not inflict more pain on our schools. The Superintendent just spoke about all that he wants to do. Approving any charter schools undercuts his plans to improve learning conditions for students. Deny every revised application.

Strawberry Mansion High School has been undermined for years. Instead of building up the school when it was a Promise Academy resources have been stripped. Instead of coming out and saying that the school is closing, Dr. Hite is pulling a sleight of hand insisting that the building will remain open but no 9thgraders will be admitted. A school is not only a building but a community of students, teachers, staff, parents and community members. The district website states that a project based high school serving grades 9-12 will open at  Strawberry Mansion in fall 2019. Next Monday a small select group from Strawberry Mansion has been invited to visit the project-based Workshop School mentioned as a possible “academic option”.  Why close one school simply to reopen another with the same grade configuration? At a community meeting Assistant Superintendent Becoats said other programs will be placed in the building.  Someone asked if they would be district-run and he indicated no. When asked for names of contractors providing these programs he said he did not have a list. Dr. Hite, who are the vendors for Strawberry Mansion High School?