WHEN the School Reform Commission next votes to approve new charter schools, it'll review one application that carries two familiar names - State Reps. Bill Keller and John Taylor.
Keller and Taylor are part of the "founding coalition" of Philadelphia Polytechnic Charter School. The coalition also includes Vincent Fenerty, director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
There is no prohibition against lawmakers and elected officials or heads of public agencies being associated with charter schools.
But there should be.
Imagine the implied pressure that the SRC faces in reviewing Polytechnic's application: Is it likely to reject the application from two lawmakers that have voting power over the school district's budget? We're not saying that Taylor or Keller would let their application affect their behavior in the General Assembly, but that's not the point: the fact that they could is enough to make this practice a bad one.