By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Jim Kenney received 27 names Monday from which he’ll pick nine to form a new local school board. Kenney says he’ll probably make those selections sooner rather than later.

Kenney says he’ll probably make those selections sooner rather than later.

“I think the sooner the better,” said the mayor.

The mayor has 20 days to appoint nine members to a new local school board, but he says he probably won’t need that long. He expects to make his selection “probably” within two weeks.

“I think it’s important for them to get started. I don’t want September to roll around and people just coming on board. This is giving them the opportunity to learn what’s going on and to devise a plan of action,” he said.

The mayor – if he wants – can within ten days ask his educational nominating panel to provide more names.

The names of two current members of the School Reform Commission — chair Joyce Wilkerson and member Christopher McGinley — are on the list of more than 400 people who applied or were nominated for the new board.

After receiving the nominations, Mayor Kenney issued this statement:

​“I thank the Educational Nominating Panel for their hard work over the past few weeks, resulting in this considered list of recommendations. They’ve served an essential role in the process of returning our schools to local control, working around the clock to review hundreds of applications and evaluate candidates for the new Board of Education. I am grateful to each of them for the unique skills, knowledge and perspective that they brought to the process. I also want to recognize Wendell Pritchett for his leadership as Panel chair.

“Thanks to the Panel, I am confident that in the coming weeks I will be able to appoint a knowledgeable, committed and diverse Board of Education that will oversee our schools going forward and ensure that every child in Philadelphia can access a quality education.”

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