Hite: Muñoz Marín will not become a charter

Protesters against the possible conversion of Munoz-Marin from a public school to a charter school march down North 5th Street on June 4, 2014.( CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer )

Acting swiftly on parents' wishes, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. on Friday said Luis Muñoz Marín, a struggling Philadelphia School District elementary school, will not be given to a charter company to run.

Parents voted overwhelmingly - 223 to 70 - on Thursday for Marín to remain a traditional district school. In a separate vote, the school's advisory council voted unanimously, 11 to 0, to reject ASPIRA of Pennsylvania, the charter company vying to take over the school.

Hite, in a statement, said he was grateful to parents and community members who helped guide the process. He also extended thanks to ASPIRA.

"Parents and guardians have chosen a path for their school and we are going to support their choice and quickly move forward with the very important work of improving outcomes for students at Muñoz Marín,” the superintendent said in a statement. “Now we must bring together the entire school community in support of our students and teachers.”

Planning for next school year will begin soon, he said.

Hite's decision caps a contentious process, with mudslinging and accusations of wrongdoing on both sides. And it means that neither district school proposed for overhaul by a charter company will go that route. Parents at Steel Elementary in Nicetown also voted against charterization, a decision Hite also approved.

In a change to the district's Renaissance turnaround process, officials this year gave parents an up-or-down choice on a single charter company - ASPIRA for Marín and Mastery for Steel.