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With Girard-diCarlo’s departure, Corbett gets to fill SRC slot

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

The five-member School Reform Commission, facing one of the biggest budget crises in the District’s history, has been operating with a vacancy since early February, when Commissioner David Girard-diCarlo resigned.

Gov. Tom Corbett, whose austere state budget is a major cause of the District’s anticipated half-billion-dollar budget shortfall, must name a replacement for Girard-diCarlo. But so far, the governor has given no sign when he plans to fill the position.

Kelli Roberts of the governor’s communications office said she had no information on when the appointment would be made.

While it is operating with four members, the SRC’s rules specify that three affirmative votes are needed for the body to take action on any item.

Girard-diCarlo, whose term ends in January 2014, said on February 9 that he was resigning because he and his wife would be spending more time out of state. Appointed by former Gov. Ed Rendell in 2009, the former ambassador to Austria was the only Republican on the panel.

Unlike some of his SRC colleagues, Girard-diCarlo did not shy away from answering press queries. He spoke up on some issues like the District’s need to close some schools given its shrinking population.

Three of the five members of the SRC are appointed by the governor and two by the mayor. Chairman Robert Archie was appointed by Mayor Nutter, but named chair by Rendell. His term and that of Nutter appointee Johnny Irizarry expire in 2013.

The two other current members were also appointed by Rendell. The term of Denise Armbrister expires in January 2012 and that of Joseph Dworetzky in 2014.

State law allows the governor to remove SRC members during their term only when there is "clear and convincing evidence of malfeasance or misfeasance in office."

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