The School Reform Commission voted 4-1 Thursday night to close Imani Education Circle Charter School in Germantown, leading the school's board and CEO to promise a swift and strong appeal to the state.
"We will go through the appeal process and will be fine," said CEO Francine Fulton after the vote. "I have no fear the state will deny our charter."
On its second day in Philadelphia, the Basic Education Funding Commission heard Wednesday from two distinct groups.
First were charter operators, who highlighted their successes and parsed the complexities of the state's education funding streams, mostly to argue that their schools are being shortchanged.
And then there were the ministers, parents, and advocates from POWER, the faith-based advocacy group, who urged the legislators to to think of school funding as a matter of justice.
Experts, advocates, and ordinary citizens from Philadelphia on Tuesday told legislators charged with revising Pennsylvania's education funding formula that city schools are reeling from the consequences of insufficient revenue and urged the panel to base state aid on real student need.
"Philadelphia schools are now a strong investment," said School Reform Commission Chair Bill Green to the members of the Basic Education Funding Commission, which has been holding hearings around the state. He said that several years ago, while on City Council, he didn't believe this, but that he is now confident in the leadership of Superintendent William Hite.
The Pennsylvania legislature's Basic Education Funding Commission is coming to Philadelphia for hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday, and two advocacy groups have announced plans to make sure that its members hear from the public whether they want to or not.
Update | Friday, noon
The School District has approved three elementary schools and one middle school for redesign overhauls that could significantly change how students experience education.
All the plans, in one way or another, appear to involve more intensive use of technology and a shift to inquiry- and project-based learning.
The schools are: