PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Jim Kenney has selected a longtime educator to fill an open seat on the panel that runs Philadelphia’s schools.
Mayor Kenney has named Dr. Christopher McGinley, an associate professor at Temple University, to the School Reform Commission.
McGinley replaces Sylvia Simms, whose term expired this month. McGinley is a Philadelphia public school product who spent 18 years as a teacher and principal in Philadelphia, before serving as superintendent in Cheltenham and Lower Merion. The 58-year-old Fairmount resident says he’ll bring an educator’s eye to governing the district.
“I’ll have an opportunity to kind of bring the day-to-day realities of school leadership and district leadership to the conversation,” McGinley said.
On charter schools, McGinley says charter decisions have to be made in the best interest of students.
“I’d like to say I’m open minded,” he said, “but my heart is with the traditional public schools.”
That said, McGinley has served on a charter board and says he’s seen “wonderful things” in charters.
McGinley’s nomination leaves one open seat on the five-member SRC. Governor Wolf has named former state Welfare Secretary Estelle Richman to that remaining seat, but her nomination is awaiting state senate confirmation.
The SRC meets Thursday night. It’s unclear whether the panel will be at full strength by February 8 when the Commission votes on four applications for new charter schools.