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Many speak out about charters, closings at SRC on Thursday

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

[Updated Friday with video] At Thursday’s School Reform Commission monthly action meeting, more than 40 speakers were on the agenda, with school closings and charter renewals and expansions among the hot topics.

As at other recent SRC meetings, contingents turned out again from two elementary schools targeted for closing, E.M. Stanton and Sheppard. The SRC heard passionate testimony from both schools. Notebook news partner PlanPhilly compiled video testimony on the topic of school closings from those who came because of the issue.

This was the final public SRC meeting before the commission votes on the school closing recommendations on March 29. Charter school renewals come before the SRC on April 19.

The auditorium was nearly full as the meeting opened. Supporters of charter schools up for renewal – including Hope and Arise Academy – and a number of charters hoping to expand came out to make their case.

Parents questioning the decision to make Creighton a Renaissance charter also presented their arguments.

The meeting was scheduled to include a presentation on Renaissance Schools, but that was cancelled.

A draft list of resolutions and agenda are available; a new development this month is that the resolution list includes the total cost of items to be voted on (it’s $9.2 million, including capital expenditures). For this type of meeting, speakers have to register in advance. The speaker list is not available online.

SRC meetings are streamed online and broadcast on PSTV.

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