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Public hearings schedule for new charter school applications

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

The School District has officially released its whirlwind schedule for the four days of hearings next week, beginning Dec. 8, on prospective new charter schools — including the process for public comment.

The District received 40 new applications by the Nov. 15 deadline. A law that legislators passed in September authorizing a new cigarette tax to raise money for city schools required the School Reform Commission to end a seven-year moratorium on new charters.

At the hearings, which will be held on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, each charter applicant will have the opportunity to make a 15-minute presentation. At the end of each day, at 3 p.m., members of the public will be given a chance to comment. People who want to comment must sign up in advance and will have three minutes each. Speakers are asked to register at 215-400-4010 and plan to arrive before 6 p.m.

At a second set of hearings in January, reviewers of each application will make presentations, and the applicants will be questioned and can make final statements.

State law requires that the District hear applications within 45 days of being submitted and that the School Reform Commission must vote on each application no later than 75 days after the first public hearing — that would be late February. Timelines can change by mutual agreement.

Next week’s hearing schedule is below. All hearings will be streamed online. The webcasts will be available through the District’s website.

Monday, Dec. 8
Time Activity Speaker
11:45 – 11:50 Welcome and Introductions Megan Reamer, CSO
11:50 – 12:00 Instructions Hearing Officer
12:05 – 12:20 Applicant presentation Germantown Community
12:25 – 12:40 Applicant presentation Philadelphia Career and Technical
12:45 – 1:00 Applicant presentation Liguori Academy
1:00 – 1:30 Break
1:30 – 1:45 Applicant presentation Partnership School (MaST)
1:50 – 2:05 Applicant presentation String Theory – East Falls
2:10 – 2:25 Applicant presentation String Theory – Grays Ferry
2:30 – 2:45 Applicant presentation String Theory – Southeast
2:45 – 3:00 Break
3:00 Public comment

Wednesday, Dec. 10
Time Activity Speaker
10:15 – 10:20 Welcome and Introductions Megan Reamer, CSO
10:20 – 10:30 Instructions Hearing Officer
10:30 – 10:45 Applicant presentation KIPP North Philadelphia
10:50 – 11:05 Applicant presentation Friendship Public Charter
11:10 – 11:25 Applicant presentation New Foundations Brewerytown
11:30 – 11:45 Applicant presentation ASPIRA Ramon Betances
11:50 – 12:05 Applicant presentation Congreso Academy
12:05 – 12:35 Break
12:35 – 12:50 Applicant presentation Esperanza Elementary
12:55 – 1:10 Applicant presentation Leon H. Sullivan Ops.
1:15 – 1:30 Applicant presentation PHASE 4 America Charter
1:35 – 1:50 Applicant presentation TECH Freire Charter
1:50 – 2:05 Break
2:05 – 2:20 Applicant presentation The Pavilion School
2:25 – 2:40 Applicant presentation Mastery Gillespie
2:45 – 3:00 Applicant presentation Mastery North Philadelphia
3:00 Public comment Philadelphia residents

Thursday, Dec. 11
Time Activity Speaker
9:45 – 9:55 Welcome and Introductions Megan Reamer, CSO
9:55 – 10:05 Instructions Hearing Officer
10:10 – 10:25 Applicant presentation Belmont Charter High
10:30 – 10:45 Applicant presentation Girls’ Latin of Philadelphia
10:50 – 11:05 Applicant presentation Green Woods Overbrook Farms
11:10 – 11:25 Applicant presentation Innovative Dimensions STEAM
11:30 – 11:45 Applicant presentation Independence Charter High
11:50 – 12:05 Applicant presentation Independence Charter West
12:05 – 12:35 Lunch Break
12:35 – 12:50 Applicant presentation Richard Allen Prep II
12:55 – 1:10 Applicant presentation ACES Business & Entrepreneur.
1:15 – 1:30 Applicant presentation Global Leadership International
1:35 – 1:50 Applicant presentation Phila Music and Dance
1:50 – 2:05 Break
2:05 – 2:20 Applicant presentation PHMC Preparatory Charter
2:25 – 2:40 Applicant presentation KIPP Dubois
2:45 – 3:00 Applicant presentation KIPP West Philly
Friday, Dec. 12
Time Activity Speaker
11:45 – 11:50 Welcome & Introductions Megan Reamer, CSO
11:50 – 12:00 Instructions Hearing Officer
12:00 – 12:15 Applicant presentation Urban STEM Academy
12:20 – 12:35 Applicant presentation Sustainable Roots
12:35 – 12:50 Applicant presentation String Theory (Port Richmond)
12:55 – 1:10 Applicant presentation MaST (Roosevelt)
1:10 – 1:25 Break
1:25– 1:40 Applicant presentation Keystone Preparatory
1:45 – 2:00 Applicant presentation Franklin Towne Middle
2:05 – 2:20 Applicant presentation American Paradigm (PR)
2:25 – 2:40 Applicant presentation American Paradigm (Oxford)
2:45 – 3:00 Break
3:00 Public Comment Philadelphia residents

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