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NEWS
May 22, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE SCHOOL Reform Commission last night approved the opening of a new KIPP charter school and transferred management of a failing charter to Mastery. KIPP West Philadelphia, which was one of 34 charter applications denied in February, submitted a revised application last month to address concerns about governance, qualifications of staff and the proposed opening date. The SRC voted 3-1 to grant it a three-year charter for grades K-4, beginning in 2016. The school was approved for 200 students in the first year and may enroll up to 375 by 2018-19.
NEWS
May 19, 2015 | Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
Voters will weigh in on four ballot questions Tuesday that would change Philadelphia's Home Rule Charter, the city's governing document. Two pertain to education: one to abolish the School Reform Commission and another to explore offering universal prekindergarten. A third would create a commission to study the advancement of women, while the fourth would require city offices to plan for providing access to non-English speakers. History shows that the questions have a good chance of passing.
NEWS
May 13, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE SCHOOL REFORM Commission voted yesterday to renew the charters of 12 schools and not to renew two others. Delaware Valley Charter High School and Universal Bluford Charter School were not renewed based on recommendations from district staff. Both schools will remain open, pending an appeal process that could take more than a year. Delaware Valley, located on Old York Road near Wagner Avenue in Olney, opened in 2000 and has 696 students. According to the district, the school failed to meet academic standards, with declining reading and math scores over the last three years.
NEWS
May 13, 2015 | By Martha Woodall and Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
During a special meeting devoted to charter schools, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted Monday to begin the process of closing two for academic and management shortcomings. One of the schools - Universal-Bluford, an elementary with nearly 600 students - is run by Universal Cos., the nonprofit founded by music mogul Kenny Gamble. In a 4-1 vote, the SRC voted not to renew Bluford's charter for five years. It was the first time a school run by Universal has been targeted for closure.
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.
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