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SRC meeting tonight: Revised charter application, ARC report

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

The School Reform Commission will be meeting at 5:30 p.m. today. A presentation by a member of the Accountability Review Council and a vote on the revised application for a new charter are on the agenda.

The Accountability Review Council is a seven-member entity that "reviews and validates SDP education reform initiatives and their impact on student achievement" and reports its findings and recommendations in an annual report.

The SRC is scheduled to vote on the second attempt from the Community Education Alliance of West Philadelphia to open a new charter school in West Philadelphia. Belmont Charter High School would be a 500-student, career-or-college-track school housed in the former Leidy middle school building. The application was denied in February for a host of reasons. Read the District’s evaluation report on the charter application here.

A draft of the proposed resolution summaries is available to read before the meeting begins. These are a few items of interest.

• The District is proposing to renew its property management contract with Elliott-Lewis, at a cost of $3.8 million over three years, for District headquarters.

• Two lease extensions for school buildings are being proposed for Science Leadership Academy and Constitution High School, both costing more than $1 million annually.

• A resolution documenting the settlement between the SRC and the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools and Lisa Haver in a lawsuit alleging that the SRC violated the Sunshine Act when it voted to cancel the PFT contract on Oct. 6 without letting members of the public speak beforehand. (Editor’s note: this bullet has been corrected to reflect accurate subject of resolution) Update, 9/18: This resolution was withdrawn before the meeting.

• One SRC commissioner "wishes to change her vote" in regard to last month’s vote on accepting a donation of services from Mastery to provide coaching services at three schools this year, according to a resolution. Update, 9/18: Farah Jimenez changed her vote to "abstention," but didn’t effect the donation. Hite revealed the three schools to be Nebinger, McDaniel, and Mayfair.

Watch the meeting live online or on Comcast channel 52 or Verizon Fios channel 20.

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