The future of contracts with outside education management organizations (EMOs) that now run 38 Philadelphia schools is up for grabs in June.
While promising a "school-by-school" approach in evaluating the contracts, District leaders signaled that the diverse provider model and at least some EMOs are here to stay. "The diverse provider model is important to the foundation of the District," said Interim Chief Academic Officer Cassandra Jones at a May 1 briefing about EMO performance in Philadelphia.
The privatization initiative cost an estimated $10.8 million this year, the amount paid to the providers for their management services. All schools have one-year contracts that expire June 30. District staff will be making recommendations to the SRC.
SRC Chair Sandra Dungee Glenn said she would be "looking for the progress of individual schools under this reform initiative."
More than six years have passed since the School Reform Commission was created by the state takeover and more than 40 schools were turned over to an array of private managers: for-profits, universities, and other nonprofits.
Today, six of the seven original school managers remain. Edison Schools Inc. runs 20 schools, Victory Schools has six, Foundations and Temple each run four, and the University of Pennsylvania and Universal Companies run two apiece.
But the total amount of the contracts has been cut in half, from more than $20 million annually when the experiment began in 2002