school reform commission
Over the loud protest of hundreds of parents and teachers, the School Reform Commission voted to close 23 Philadelphia public schools.
There was a lot of disappointment and passion from parents, teachers and education advocates in attendance.
As of Thursday night, 19 protesters have already been arrested in protests outside the school district’s headquarters – including the president of the American Federation of Teachers.
The new School Reform Commission policy means that vendors looking for school contracts have to have their use and occupancy taxes and other city taxes paid up.
Superintendent William Hite said the district can’t afford to maintain underutilized schools. “The district’s financial challenges jeopardize its survival.”
One notable school coming off of the school closure list is Strawberry Mansion High School, which will remain open.
Superintendent William Hite told a daylong City Council hearing on Tuesday that he will announce an updated school closure plan next week.
A Philadelphia parent opposed to the plan to close 37 public schools took to the streets yesterday to illustrate the longer walk to school her kids would have to make. “I know about the bullying that’s going on in neighborhoods and in schools,” she said. “I fear for my kids.”
Part of the debate over closing 37 Philadelphia schools includes the possibility of moving some schools into the cavernous district headquarters building.
Parents who camped out for coveted spots at a Philadelphia elementary school met with district officials yesterday over the decision to change the first-come-first-served admissions process.
The Philadelphia School District has sold two historic buildings — one for a lot, one for a little.
Chanting “save our schools,” an overflow crowd of parents and students packed the first School Reform Commission meeting since Superintendent William Hite announced the school closure plan last week.
Several groups have filed a formal complaint, saying a privately-funded consultant’s report for the Philadelphia school district amounted to lobbying.
The School Reform Commission okayed the sale of $265-million in bonds just to get the district through its deficit this year.
Parents at two charter schools under a cloud of scandal are asking the School Reform Commission to keep the charters open.