Transcript of Karel Kilimnik’s testimony before the SRC May 17, 2018

Click the picture to view Karel’s testimony with a Dr. Hite interruption. Move the slider to 10:46.


 

Karel Kilimnik

Hopefully you take my comments on Philadelphia Hebrew Charter School (PHCS) into consideration when you vote next week. I hope that next week I can commend you for denying their charter. Some of you proclaim yourselves to be all about the children and others to be advocates for our children. As Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez said “bullshit”. You have a chance tonight to step up and shed your hypocrisy and cowardice by denying PHCS and by voting no on resolution B15 pouring money to a vendor instead of to Strawberry Mansion High School(SMHS). We cannot afford any more charters.

Every time you take this cowardly action of approving charter schools using your excuse of fearing expensive lawsuits filed by Charter Management Organizations(CMO) you rob district classrooms of the resources they need. Our schools still operate under Dr Hites doomsday budget. The recent series on toxic schools shows how devastating some buildings are to our children’s health. You continue to drain money by approving charters. The SRC has no problem spending millions on outside legal counsel. You dragged out settling the APPS sunshine lawsuit by hiring one of the most expensive law firms in the city.

Step up to the plate of courage and deny this carpetbagging NYC CMO. This charter school spends 4 classroom hours a week teaching Hebrew a language spoken in Israel. They also promote the study of Israel, a country whose government just murdered 62 unarmed Palestinians. Is this something you really want to support?

Dr Hite is closing SMHS despite denying it. He continues attempting to defuse the strong resistance to his plans for a Strawberry Mansion complex. He has systematically stripped Mansion of resources, staffing , and programs. They have over 9 teacher vacancies in a school of under 300 students. No music teacher despite Drake gifting them with a music studio, no culinary arts teacher despite that having been a point of pride. Resolution B15 sends $13 million into a vendors pocket for an accelerated program at Mansion proving that there is money available. District lip service of pretending to listen to students and the community supporting them has failed to stem the protests. Dr Hite used similar tactics on the 6 priority schools earlier this year ignoring the needs and demands put forth by school stakeholders and inserting outside vendors that no one asked for as he continues to privatize as much of our district as he can. Shame on all of you for allowing this to happen.