Private managers will run 38 Philly schools for a year

Posted: June 27, 2007

The School Reform Commission today voted 3-1 to allow Edison Schools Inc. and five other private managers to continue to operate 38 Philadelphia schools for another year.

During that time, the district will develop a plan for the privately run schools and each of the 60 lowest performing schools in the city. Options within the plan could include continuing or expanding private management, converting schools to charters, or restructuring schools.

"Philadelphia cares about its lowest-performing children and is doing something about it," James Nevels, commission chairman, said after the meeting.

During the year-long study period, the district will pay the private managers $500 per student for a total cost of $9.2 million. That amount is less than the $750 the companies had been paid but a $50 increase for the universities that had been managing some of the schools.

The six private managers have been operating the schools since 2002. Their five-year contracts will expire June 30.

In addition to Edison, a for-profit company in New York, the private managers are Victory Schools, a for-profit company based in New York; Universal Companies, a Philadelphia nonprofit; Foundations Inc., a nonprofit in Moorestown, N.J.; Temple University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Denise McGregor Armbrister, who recently joined the commission, abstained from the vote.

Commission member Sandra Dungee Glenn voted no. She had favored removing the managers from 12 schools that had not met federal academic standards and returning those schools to district control July 1.

That motion failed to pass.

Some commission members were concerned that there was not enough time for the 12 schools to make the transition to district control before schools open in September.

Contact staff writer Martha Woodall at 215-854-2789 or at

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