Click the picture above and move to timestamp 13:53 to view Lisa’s testimony.
Last week, APPS sent an email to all SRC commissioners asking for an explanation of the SRC’s vote to approve Franklin Towne Charter Middle School, including an addendum listing all of the issues raised by the Charter Schools Office. Government officials have an obligation to explain to the public why they make the decisions they do and how and why they spend taxpayer funds. The SRC did not read the resolution in full—a clear violation of the PA Sunshine Act, nor did they explain their reasons at the April 26 meeting. Nor did the SRC respond to our letter.
Despite the detailed news reports of the pyramid scheme that Franklin Towne is perpetrating, despite the company’s precarious financial situation, despite the fact that they showed no community support (one letter came from Six Flags Amusement Park, others from businesses in NJ), despite the fact that Franklin Towne basically blew off the Charter Schools Office’s over 30 instances in which FTC failed to address concerns in the 2ndapplication that were raised in the 1stone, the SRC voted to approve another school for that company.
I am ceding the rest of my time so that the SRC can fulfill its obligation to the stakeholders and taxpayers and explain its vote to approve another school for Franklin Towne Charter.
With almost two minutes left, I put my papers down and looked at the Commissioners, waiting for an answer. There was a brief off-mic conversation among them, while members of the audience called out, demanding an explanation. Chair Richman said that they would answer the question. At that point, Commissioner Fran Burns stated that she would give an answer at the next SRC meeting. I told her (as I had a stopwatch next to me) that there were 53 seconds left so she could give her answer now. She again stated that she would not answer until next week. Chair Richman said they would.have nothing more to say until next week. Commissioner Neff reminded us that she voted to deny. Franklin Towne. I said that if Commissioner Green had not been absent again maybe he could have given an explanation.