SRC will snub city charter, passes on budget

Here, Superintendent William Hite (left) is seen in a file photo presiding over a School Reform Commission meeting. At Thursday's SRC meeting, three Philadelphia principals were fired in a cheating probe. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer / File)

Update, 6:15 p.m.

In a stunning move, the School Reform Commission declined to adopt a 2014-15 budget. They are required by city charter to do so by the end of May.

Superintendent WIlliam R. Hite Jr. said he could not in good conscience recommend a budget that would require the district to cut $216 million to make ends meet. It would mean class sizes rising to as many as 41, and layoffs of at least 800 teachers.

Referencing the "systemic disinvestment" in the city's public schools, a visibly upset Hite said the city, state and district must do better for students. SRC Chairman Bill Green echoed Hite's statements, saying the district was doing its students a disservice already.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details, or follow along on Twitter, where I'm livetweeting.

EARLIER:

The School Reform Commission holds its monthly action meeting today. Top of the list: the SRC must pass a 2014-15 budget. With a $216 million hole and uncertain funding prospects from City Hall and Harrisburg, this does not figure to be a spending plan that pleases anyone.

Charter renewals are also on the agenda for Esperanza Academy, New Foundations Charter School and Philadelphia Performing Arts Academy. Martime Academy Charter is up for a grade change.

It should be a lively meeting, as always. Follow along here, or on Twitter. Things are scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m.

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