This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Bill Hangley Jr.
Members of the School Advisory Council at Martin Luther King High say that despite the last-minute intervention of an influential state legislator, the battle for control of their school is not over.
When the School Reform Commission meets this week, the King SAC will ask commissioners to stick by their original plan to hand King over to the charter operator Mosaica Education, despite that company’s surprise rejection last month of the SRC’s offer to run King. The SAC does not want to see the school run by Foundations Inc., the top choice of State Rep. Dwight Evans, and the only other candidate for the job.
Officials at Mosaica have told the King SAC that the company is willing to return to King if it can do so with full community support.
“We are still committed to [Mosaica] – and we know they are committed to us,” said Conchevia Washington, parent of a King sophomore and chair of the King SAC, a volunteer committee of parents, students and community members charged with overseeing King’s charter transformation. “We want that original [SRC] motion to stand, and come hell or high water, we’ll deal with it.”
Short of that, they’d like to see a year’s postponement of plans to make King a charter, keeping it under district control, with Foundations gone from its current, limited management role. Subsequent meetings with Foundations have not convinced the SAC members that the organization has a viable turnaround plan for King, Washington said.
This story continues on the NewsWorks website; it is a product of a reporting collaboration between the Notebook and WHYY.
Editor’s note: The photo that initially appeared with this story was mistakenly identified as members of the SAC. It actually depicted members of the Martin Luther King Alumni Association, which has not made statements or taken a position endorsing Mosaica or Foundations. According to Darren Whitfield of the association, "Our stance is that we will work with whatever charter company comes into our school. We chose not to endorse either one for unity among the alumni." We regret the error.