May 25, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 25, 2017
Our City Our Schools Coalition Invites SRC Commissioners to Public Forum on the Future of the SRC
PHILLY — This afternoon, May 25th at the 4:30PM School Reform Commission meeting at 440 N Broad, members of the Our City Our Schools coalition publicly inviteed all five SRC Commissioners and the public to a forum regarding the future of the SRC. The forum called “Our City Our Schools: SRC, Where Do You Stand?” will be held on Wednesday, June 7th at 6PM at the Berean Institute (1901 W Girard). All five SRC Commissioners are invited to attend. The Forum on June 7th will call on SRC Commissioners to state their position on local control and confirm a timeline for voting to abolish the SRC by Fall 2017.
With Estelle Richman’s confirmation for the SRC on May 10th, today’s SRC meeting is only the second with a fully sat 5-person SRC, after months of delay. Since the resignations in the Fall of two SRC Commissioners, the Our City Our Schools coalition has demanded that Mayor Kenney and Governor Wolf’s SRC Commissioners vote to abolish the SRC and return the Philadelphia schools to local control after 15 years of the state takeover. Mayor Kenney and Governor Wolf have both pledged support for returning the Philadelphia schools to local control by abolishing the School Reform Commission through a simple majority vote of School Reform Commissioners. Should our new SRC Commissioners — Chair Joyce Wilkerson, Chris McGinley and Estelle Richman — follow the words of their appointers, there would be the necessary three votes to abolish the School Reform Commission once and for all.
Once the vote occurs, it will take another calendar year to transition into a new school governance system, according to PA State Law. In November 2018, the state of Pennsylvania will vote on the Governor. To ensure our schools return to local control before a new Governor takes power, the SRC must vote to abolish themselves by by the November School Reform Commission meeting, at the very latest. Once the vote takes place, we will have the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year to have a city-wide conversation about what kind of school governance system Philadelphians want next.
The Our City Our Schools coalition is made up of parents, educators, community members and students all fighting for local control of the Philadelphia schools and the end to the state-controlled School Reform Commissions. The coalition includes: POWER, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Philadelphia NAACP, 215 People’s Alliance, Taxi Workers Alliance, AFSCME DC 47, AFSCME 1199C, PASNAP, Philly Student Union, UNITE HERE Local 634, Parents United for Public Education, Reclaim Philadelphia, AFT Local 2026, Teacher Action Group, Caucus of Working Educators, Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, Neighborhood Networks and the Media Mobilizing Project.