PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Kenney’s plan received overwhelming approval from educational activists, business leaders, and other elected officials, though they all have their own ideas about how it should play out.
“This is a very, very significant day,” said City Council President Darrell Clarke.
“I’m very, very excited. We have fought for this,” said Kendra Brooks with Parents United for Public Education.
“We’re very grateful to the mayor for his leadership,” said Lisa Haver with the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools.
It was hard to find anyone in attendance at the mayor’s address, which included state legislators, teachers union officials, and grass roots leaders, who opposed the mayor’s plan. But many would tweak it a bit.
There was one common call among activists.
“We do have to take that extra step of an elected school board, where the people of the city make the decision on who’s going to represent them,” said Rev. Gregory Holston of POWER.
The Chamber of Commerce was neutral on local control, but clear in a statement that it will not support significant and disproportionate local tax increases on employers to address funding shortfalls.
Council President Clarke emphasized the state still has a role to play.
“We have been getting support from the state and we will continue. That is a constitutionally-mandated requirement,” he said.
One naysayer is School Reform Commission member Bill Green. He calls the move “entirely political and not in the best interest of students and parents.”
He says he’s not sure yet if he’ll vote for dissolution.