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SRC Weighs Universal Enrollment System For Public, Charter And Catholic Schools

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Superintendent William Hite overseeing a discussion on universal enrollment at last night's SRC meeting. (Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Superintendent William Hite overseeing a discussion on universal enrollment at last night’s SRC meeting. (Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Should Philadelphia establish a one-stop enrollment portal for public, charter and Catholic schools? That was the concept kicked-around at last night’s School Reform Commission meeting.

The idea is to take the current enrollment system, with its multiple applications and deadlines, and to simplify it with a single application for district, charter and Catholic schools. Parents, district staff and charter officials packed the SRC boardroom, to hash out the many questions: Who would run such a system? Who would pay for it? Should charters be allowed to opt out? Is it legal for Catholic schools to participate?

And, as retired teacher Lisa Haver asked, does Philadelphia really need universal enrollment? “Our feeling, and it seems like what everybody else is saying is, ‘Why are we doing this?’ I mean, I would just love it if we could take a vote right now, put it to bed, and say forget about it — we’ve got other things to worry about.”

The mayor’s education secretary Lori Shorr said, “I know there are some angry people here and there are some people who have already made up their minds. But, I think there are more people who are interested in how we can make the system better.”

Shorr says it’s too early to know whether universal enrollment will become reality.

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