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NEWS
April 21, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Philadelphia's School Reform Commission outlived its usefulness years ago, so it's disturbing that some candidates to become the city's next mayor haven't grasped that reality. The SRC was created in a state takeover of Philadelphia schools in December 2001 with only two goals: get the School District's finances in order and improve students' academic performance. Fourteen years later, it has failed miserably in both regards, though some of its past and current members do deserve an A for effort.
NEWS
March 27, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE SCHOOL REFORM Commission formalized its request to the city and state yesterday for $264 million in new revenue - the combined amount proposed by Gov. Wolf and Mayor Nutter. By adopting the lump-sum statement, required by the city charter, the SRC made official what was already known: It needs $84 million to close a projected budget shortfall next school year, and anything additional will go toward implementing Superintendent William Hite's Action Plan 3.0. The district's total proposed budget is $2.89 billion, including $159 million in new money proposed by Wolf and $105 million in new revenues proposed by Nutter, up from $2.6 billion this year.
NEWS
March 21, 2015 | By Dylan Purcell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nameplates were hurriedly shuffled when Marjorie Neff took her place as chairwoman of the School Reform Commission at Thursday night's monthly meeting. The audience showered Neff with applause as she sat beside Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. She then thanked former Chairman Bill Green, seated two seats to her right, for his service. Hite addressed news, first reported by Inquirer columnist Mike Newall, that the district allowed thousands of books to pile up in a dusty, block-long basement beneath its headquarters.
NEWS
March 20, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE SCHOOL REFORM Commission last night voted to accept the closure of a charter school for foster-care students. Arise Academy Charter, which opened in 2009 and has about 100 students, forfeited its charter and will close at the end of the school year after failing to meet academic targets. The SRC initially voted not to renew the school's charter in April 2012, but gave officials a one-year reprieve before ultimately deciding to pull the plug last year. Roberta Trombetta, the school's acting chief executive, said her staff is working with district officials to make sure the students get the support they need as they transition into other schools.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
THREE RETIRED Philadelphia School District teachers have filed a federal lawsuit against the School Reform Commission, former chairman Bill Green, the city and other parties for allegedly violating their constitutional rights during an SRC meeting. The trio - Ilene Poses, Lisa Haver and Barbara Dowdall - say the violations occurred during a Feb. 18 meeting at which commissioners voted on charter-school applications, according to the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
NEWS
March 12, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE SCHOOL REFORM COMMISSION is ready to move past Chairgate. That was the message yesterday from ousted chairman Bill Green and Commissioner Marjorie Neff, who was named to replace Green as chairwoman of the school district's governing body last week by Gov. Wolf. The two met with reporters to make it clear that they are on the same page and don't intend for it to be a distraction. "I don't want to sound like a broken record, but the members of this SRC are focused on quality education for all kids," said Neff, a former principal and career educator who was appointed to the five-member board last year by Mayor Nutter.
NEWS
March 12, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Expect no major position shifts on the reshuffled School Reform Commission, its leaders said Tuesday. That means the SRC is still holding a hard line in negotiations with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, said the new chairwoman, Marjorie Neff. "We have to have a contract that is fiscally responsible. We can't spend money we don't have, and we need work-rule changes that allow Action Plan 3.0 to go forward," Neff said, referring to Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.'s blueprint for moving the Philadelphia School District ahead.
NEWS
March 11, 2015 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bill Green said Monday that he would not go to court to challenge Gov. Wolf's decision to remove him as chair of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission. Green, who remains on the five-member panel, said he decided against seeking a legal ruling because he did not want to create a distraction while Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. pushes his new action plan and the district seeks more money from the city and state. "I believe I am correct on the merits, but I will not risk compromising support for the district by pursuing a court action at the same time as the plan's rollout," Green said in a statement.
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