Sunday, February 7, 2016

News from the SRC; legislator calls for elected school board

A state rep. has called for the SRC to be abolished in favor of an elected school board. Plus, live tweeting of the School Reform Commission meeting.

News from the SRC; legislator calls for elected school board

Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman (center) with member Joseph Dworetzky (left) and Chair Robert L. Archie Jr. at the school commission meeting earlier this year. (File photo: Ron Tarver / Staff Photographer)

Hi, all. Today's SRC meeting, which I'll be live Tweeting, begins at 2 p.m. The agenda doesn't give us many clues about what to expect, but there's always some kind of news, and today should be no exception, especially with all the budget/superintendent/governance questions in the air just now.

The latest out of Harrisburg: State Rep. Angel Cruz (D-Phila.) has blasted his colleagues in the Legislature for failing to pass laws that would prohibit bonus payments for superintendents and allow lawmakers to remove superintendents who are not performing effectively.

The legislation was introduced by State Rep. Michael McGeehan (D., Phila.), a vocal critic of Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman.

“It is a sad day for Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania when our lawmakers turn their backs on measures that are aimed at protecting educational opportunities for our children,” Cruz said in a statement. “My colleagues chose to put education second and continue the lack of oversight over the way money is spent in the School District of Philadelphia.”

More coverage
Video: Ackerman talks about 'job for life'
Philly School Files: News from the SRC
One fix that should come out of this whole School District mess

Cruz has introduced a bill to create a referendum that would allow voters to weigh in on whether the SRC should remain or go away in favor of an elected school board.  Rep. Louise Williams Bishop has introduced similar legislation, which has not advanced.

“The SRC clearly is not properly managing the superintendent or the district,” Cruz said. “My bill would give voters the option to choose the people who are running our school district.”

Cruz earlier introduced a resolution urging Mayor Nutter to prevent Ackerman’s contract from being extended a year, to 2014.  That legislation went nowhere.

Stay tuned.

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About this blog

Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham writes the Philly School Files blog, where she covers education in Philadelphia, both in and out of the classroom.

During the school year, you’ll frequently find her hosting live chats about the district on

Please do pass along the scoop about what’s going on at your Philadelphia public school; Kristen welcomes tips, story ideas and witty banter.

Kristen Graham Inquirer Staff Writer
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