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What will happen at tonight’s SRC meeting?

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

On Thursday night, the five-member School Reform Commission will make some of the most momentous decisions in the recent history of the District as it considers closing 27 schools and making other changes and reconfigurations.

Protesters are promising to be out in force — both in the auditorium at 440 N. Broad St. and outside. The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, is planning to attend and register her objections.

The SRC has decided to vote on one massive resolution instead of many separate ones. SRC members will be able to propose amendments and will consider them separately before considering the entire resolution, said District spokesman Fernando Gallard.

The District said it has set up ground rules that two people can speak for each school, an additional two for each planning region, and a total of 10 on the general topic of school closures. The deadline for registering to speak was 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and 31 people signed up. Ten of them, including Weingarten, will address the overall issue of closures.

Several elected officials are also registered to speak at the meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m.: City Councilman Curtis Jones (on Lamberton High School) and State Reps. Stephen Kinsey (on the general topic) and W. Curtis Thomas (on the North Central East region).

Besides Lamberton, schools with speakers on their behalf are Fulton, T.M. Peirce, Taylor, L.P. Hill, and Vare elementaries; Pepper and Roosevelt middle schools; and Robeson, Germantown and University City high schools. Four speakers identified themselves as having connections to Germantown High, including principal Margaret Mullen.

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