SRC holds hearing today on closing charter school

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing this morning on the proposed closing of Germantown Settlement Charter School.

The hearing was scheduled after the commission voted in April to start the process of closing the troubled school on grounds of poor academic performance, failing to submit materials mandated by state law and falling short of the state requirement that calls for at least 75 percent of the teaching staff to be certified.

The commission also said a lack of financial documentation has raised questions about the charter school's solvency.

At the commission's April meeting, Emanuel V. Freeman, president of the charter's board, said he did not believe that the charter had been evaluated fairly. He said Germantown Settlement should be kept open because the school is making academic progress.

Germantown Settlement, which opened in 1999, has 416 students in fifth through eighth grades. The school's main campus is at 4811 Germantown Ave. and a north campus at 5538B Wayne Ave.

Today's hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the school district's administration building at 440 N. Broad St.

After the hearing concludes, the commission will accept written comments for 30 days before making a decision later this summer.

The commission began a similar hearing on the proposed closing of Renaissance Charter School in Mt. Airy last week. That proceeding is expected to resume next.

Philadelphia is home to 61 charter schools which enroll more than 30,000 students.


Contact staff writer Martha Woodall at 215-854-2789 or at martha.woodall@phillynews.com