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Hearings for new charter applicants set for next week

By the Notebook on Nov 30, 2015 04:09 PM

Hearings for 12 would-be school operators looking to open new charter schools will begin next week.

The School District will review applications for 13 new schools, which, if approved, could increase the city's public charter school enrollment by more than 9,000 students. One applicant, KIPP, is proposing to open two schools.

Last week, one of the applicants withdrew its proposal to create a James Baldwin Charter High School in Mantua focused on serving LGBT students, according to the District.

Two sets of hearings are planned. Preliminary hearings will take place on Dec. 7 and Dec. 11 (see schedule below), and a more-detailed round of hearings is slated for January.

In 2014, a provision in the state's school-funding-enabling cigarette-tax hike required the District to end a seven-year moratorium on new charter schools that had been implemented to help stabilize District finances. When the charter ban was lifted, the floodgates opened and a startling 40 applications were filed.

Far fewer applicants are seeking to open new charters this year. The District said 14 applications were filed this year.

During the introductory hearings, each applicant will have 10 minutes to present information to the public. 

Public comments will be heard after each day's presentations. Those who intend to speak must sign up beforehand. They can either pre-register by calling 215-400-4010 or sign up in person between 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. the day of the hearing. The deadline to register is 5:30 p.m. on the hearing date. Each speaker will have three minutes to comment.

All hearings will be streamed live by the District and transcribed by a court stenographer. 


Dec. 7

1:30  Welcome & logistics
1:45  ASPIRA Ramon E. Betances
2:00  Chestnut Hill Innovation
2:15  City Academy
2:30  Esperanza Elementary
2:45  FACTS-2
3:00  Russell Byers Academy
3:15  Pavilion School
3:30  Break
3:45  Public comment

Dec. 11

1:30  Welcome & logistics
1:45  Belmont Charter High School
2:00  Global Leadership Academy International High
2:15  KIPP North Philadelphia
2:30  KIPP Parkside
2:45  Montessori School
3:00  Southwest Leadership Academy for Girls
3:15  Break
3:30  Public comment

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Comments (39)

Submitted by Annoymous (not verified) on December 1, 2015 5:51 am

FACTS Charter filed a law suit against the District in 2010 because they did not want to abide by an enrollment cap.  In August 2015, the Commonwealth Court ruled in their favor and other plantiffs (Delaware Valley Charter, Richard Allen Prep and two closed schools - Walter Palmer and Wakishia).  Now, FACTS wants to triple in size to over 1300 students at the SAME location.  Is this FACTS way of getting what they want - a much larger school - post court case?

I'd love to hear Helen Gym's response since she is a founder of FACTS.  Hite was clear last year that we need no more Center City schools.  FACTS is in Center City.  

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on December 2, 2015 11:29 pm

City Academy is being proposed by the same group that just shut down Education Plus Academy Cyber Charter School this past week. This is shocking considering Ed Plus was under monitoring by PDE and constantly out of compliance, running their cyber charter like a bricks and morter. Then, they shut their school down the day before Thanksgiving giving families no notice. They informed their full time employes (they didn't even reach out to their dedicated part-time staff!) that they would not be paid for their last 3 weeks of work, AND their health insurance was not paid for Novemeber, They are reportedly in serious debt, and shold not be given the chance to run another charter again!! 

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