This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Bill Hangley, Jr.
With controversy swirling around the role played by State Rep. Dwight Evans in the selection of a new charter operator for Martin Luther King High, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman says the school’s fate is now in the hands of the School Reform Commission.
“It will be up to the SRC,” said Ackerman in an interview Wednesday night. The board will have to decide when it meets next month whether to hand King over to the New Jersey-based nonprofit on whose behalf Evans intervened last week, Foundations Inc.
District spokesperson Jamilah Fraser said the vote is tentatively scheduled for April 27. She said that while procedural restrictions mean the SRC can’t vote to replace Foundations with another charter provider, it can choose not to vote at all, leaving King as a district-run school for at least another year.
Last week, acting on Ackerman’s recommendation, the SRC voted to grant Mosaica Education the right to run King as a charter next year. Based on the District’s standard per-pupil reimbursement to charter schools, the King contract would be worth an estimated $12 million annually. Evans, however, wanted to see the job go to his longtime partner in education projects, the nonprofit Foundations Inc., which has managed King on behalf of the district since 2003, and whose executives have given Evans thousands in campaign donations over the years.
This story continues on the NewsWorks website; it is a product of a reporting collaboration between the Notebook and WHYY.