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Testimony of Lisa Haver
March 15, 2018
If I gave a Social Studies test to my 7th graders asking whether a US Congressman is a public official, and they answered no, I would have to mark that wrong. But that would be too easy a question for me to ask even my middle school students.
Commissioner Green is running for US Congress in the city’s 5th district. He cannot run for Congress while serving on the SRC.
The law which governs the school district is the PA School Code.
Section(6) Section 696 (b)(6) of the Public School Code of 1949, as amended, states:
“No commission member may, while in the service of the School Reform Commission, seek or hold a position as any other public official within this Commonwealth or as an officer of a political party.”
You can’t get much clearer than that. But one of the attorneys in the Office of General Counsel, who is not the head of that office, has communicated to the media that Commissioner Green can run for office while serving on the SRC.
APPS has written to the Governor asking him to remove Commissioner Green if he does not follow the law and resign. It is important that public officials obey the law. It is even more important for a public official whose represents the students and families in our public schools to let them know that they respect and obey all laws, including the ones that may be inconvenient for them to follow.
My questions, which I ask Chair Wilkerson to answer at the end of my three minutes, are:
- Is one of the duties of the district’s General Counsel to advise SRC commissioners on how to skirt the law in order to advance his own political career?
- Is the opinion communicated by Mr. Shorr to the media the official position of the district and the SRC?
- If so, will the SRC vote tonight, in a resolution from the floor, that that opinion, that Commissioner Green can both serve on the SRC and run for office, is the official position of the district and the SRC?
- If it is not, will the SRC support the Governor’s position that Commissioner Green is in violation of the School Code by not resigning from the SRC?