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Charter coalition threatens litigation over SRC action on enrollment caps

By Dale Mezzacappa on Nov 20, 2012 03:19 PM

Tension is increasing between the School District and the charter school community.

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools is calling the SRC's move to suspend part of the charter school law dealing with enrollment caps "seriously misguided and ... a stealthy and blatant abuse of both power and trust." The SRC made the move so it could control charter growth and plan in the face of its dire budget situation.

The charter coalition called the action illegal and is threatening litigation. Following are the statement from PCPCS and the District's response.

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Comments (24)

Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on November 20, 2012 3:12 pm
Apparently the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools has been hiding under rocks over the past year. The SRC has expanded charter enrollment exponentially while closing District run schools. This year, the SRC is going to close many District run schools without time for due process. (That was also voted on at the Nov. 15 meeting.) Meanwhile, schools like String Theory was given 1400 high school seats in a non-existing school for a region of the city flush with music/arts options for students. Based on the letter, the PA Coalition believes "high performing seats" are only located in charters. World Communications was renewed by the SRC a month ago - besides low test scores, there is also the issue of nepotism and unaccounted for monies. So, if World Communication is a location of "high performing seats," the the PA Coalition must be selling bridges... The PA Coalition also has the nerve to blame the School Districts financial woes on teacher salaries. Apparently, the "high performing seats" are in school where teachers work for next to nothing. That will lead to more "turn around" as teachers leave for greener pastures. Instead of investing in litigation, the PA Charter Coalition should invest in "high performing virtues" such as honesty.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on November 20, 2012 4:34 pm
Well done--Great Post. Yes, teachers shouldn't be paid a livable wage, no workers should according to the Tea Party types. In any case, I didn't believe any of this article and saw through it immediately, smoke screen city. A POX on all their houses for what they're doing to the inner city kids and parents. They all better hope there's no God !
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on November 21, 2012 9:02 am
We're resorting to witchcraft now? Why not just give the parents the choice to send their kids to whatever school they want, be that charter, district, private or parochial? Then give that school the allotted money for the child.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on November 21, 2012 10:24 am
Very well said. I would only add that the District WILL address union issues -- this winter when the PFT contract comes to a close. Everyone is hurting. Charters are just now experiencing what districts have been facing for the last 18 months. Welcome to underfunded education for all!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on November 21, 2012 5:45 pm
Contract expires August 31, 2013.
Submitted by Long-time Education Journalist (not verified) on November 20, 2012 5:52 pm
As long as the SRC allows charters to dodge responsibility to educate a representative cross-section of the pupil population, for-profit operators will continue to cherry-pick students and dump any challenging pupil on district-run schools. That is a strategy moreover that depresses performance at the latter, while bolstering the case for charters. Nevertheless, how strange that even with this under-appreciated advantage, charters when pinned down with performance number fail to perform as might be expected. Some might argue that there is might be an argument that this reflects the professionalism of experienced educators. (Sadly, the latter constitute only a slim majority. Just imagine the impact of flushing out those sluggards more focused on their BIG GULPS than on students. Who flee the schools every afternoon like thoroughbreds at Churchill Downs. Who whould defend to the death their prep times and lunch breaks against a terrorist attack. )
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on November 20, 2012 7:14 pm
It's called karma. The SRC and the privatizers created a monster and now it's coming back to eat them.
Submitted by Timothy Boyle on November 20, 2012 7:27 pm

Prisoners escape. Families make choices. How dare PCPCS use such language to describe children and families.

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on November 20, 2012 9:41 pm
Because they don't care. There's an old Irish saying---When you don't care, you have nothing to lose.
Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on November 21, 2012 8:32 am

The charter school lobby won't be happy with anything less than unregulated subsidies and no constraints on their growth.   Even the modest efforts of a Charter friendly SRC to exercise some control in order to faciilitate planning and reduce costs in the midst of a fiscal crisis is unacceptable to these people.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on November 21, 2012 12:18 pm
There is no fiscal crisis except the one Corbett and his Tea Party shot callers have foisted on Urban Ed. Secondly, the real "golden goal" is to bust unions so the rich can get richer and the dems will also cease to exist. Charters are nothing more than a new way to screw over the poor and the disenfranchised by the rich and well connected. IT WON'T STOP UNTIL THE PEOPLE STOP IT and yes, by any means necessary. Obama has not been even remotely interested in our plight except when he needed our votes so don't expect him to man up.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on November 22, 2012 3:13 am
Unregulated subsidies? Charters get 75% of what districts get at best. charters can't raise taxes, get bail outs or even be fiscally insolvent. People blame charters for the financial mess in places like Philly and Chester. These districts have been wasting money for decades. If you close every charter the district will still find its way to fiscal madness and kids will still be getting a substandard education. Wake up and get real.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on November 23, 2012 10:56 am
So, your logic is---- since the school district stinks, we should make it worse by adding scams and frauds like charters?? The truth is, charter schools are ways for the rich to get richer at the expense of the poor. Makes sense to me!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 4, 2012 9:16 pm
75% ? What happen to the 80% all you charter shills were proclaiming just last week? How about the perks that charters get like free transportation? Not to mention the special ed. dough they take before the jettison those kids back to the public schools because they just aren't up to the job? We don't blame the chaters "for the financial mess in places like Philly and Chester" we blame the polititicians and fastbuck artists that promote charters. They have created the very problem they are whining about only to turn around and exploit it for their own personal profit. Carpetbaggers!
Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on November 23, 2012 9:31 pm
Inquirer reported on 11/22 that PA Dept of Ed can not evaluate charters differently than school district schools: "Federal education officials have denied Pennsylvania's request to evaluate charter school achievement using more lenient criteria, saying they must be assessed by the same standard as traditional schools." Now, watch AYP results for charters drop dramatically.
Submitted by tom-104 on November 24, 2012 7:28 pm
Diane Ravitch has an interesting take on the timing of this announcement about the inflation of PA charter school scores on her blog. (Read the comments.) US DOE: Pennsylvania Can’t Inflate Charter Scores
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on November 24, 2012 8:23 pm
The real question is when will this fiasco come to an end ?
Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on November 24, 2012 8:49 pm
The School District and PA Dept of Ed have a history of trying to bury stories. Remember, December 21, 2001, after the work day, the take over of the School District was announced by the PA Dept. of Ed. This was after everyone left for the winter break. On Friday, Nov. 21, Dr. Hite sent out a notice about his new hire for CFO after the school day. Now, we're told we'll hear about potential school closings sometime in December. Lets hope the announcement isn't made on the eve of winter break.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on November 24, 2012 10:25 pm
Please take some time to go on this link and look for Karen Lewis' speech in Chicago (head of the teacher's union). It's about an hour long, but worth every minute!
Submitted by tom-104 on November 24, 2012 10:20 pm
You can get the Karen Lewis speech here:
Submitted by Clarence I. Baier (not verified) on December 26, 2012 3:36 am
Litigation issues requires e discovery services for it to be in proper process and with the rules.
Submitted by Daniel Garcia (not verified) on March 31, 2013 3:44 am
I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks! stopthedeathtax
Submitted by cheap logo design (not verified) on August 15, 2013 8:02 am
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Submitted by Rosie Lavigne (not verified) on December 3, 2013 9:03 pm
If you close every charter the district will still find its way to fiscal madness and kids will still be getting a substandard education. Wake up and get real. Youtube Bomb

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