Community Opposition Emerges At Preliminary Hearing For New Charter School Application In Philadelphia

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia School District began the process of reviewing applications for new charter schools, Monday, and already there is community opposition to one of the proposals.

Parents in three Mt. Airy neighborhood schools warn the charter could undermine progress their schools are making.

Haviva Goldman, a parent at Jenks Elementary, says she was surprised to read the application for Chestnut Hill Innovation Charter.

“We believe the application rests on an inaccurate picture of the neighborhood’s need for another school,” said Goldman.

The application says the charter wants to draw students from Jenks, Henry and Houston schools because they have wait lists, forcing parents to drive distances, creating hardship.

“We are confused and troubled by these statements our schools are not full.”

Charter officials were not available after Goldman’s testimony. The school would go in the sprawling campus that was once Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and is now New Covenant Church. Henry parent Leah Corsover says putting a charter there would undermine decades of work to get community support for the public schools.

“We cannot afford to lose those families. Families have choices in our neighborhood. We don’t need more choices. We need our existing options to be properly funded, supported and valued,” said Corsover.

This round of hearings, which continues Friday, is preliminary. More details are expected at part two, next month.

 

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