COUNCIL COMMITTEE ADVANCES LEGISLATION TO RESTORE LOCAL CONTROL OVER PHILADELPHIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Jannie Blackwell by PHL Council

Philadelphia, February 28, 2018 – Today, Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Law and Government voted to advance legislation that moves the city one step closer to restoration of local control over Philadelphia’s public schools.

The legislation places a ballot question before the voters of Philadelphia which amends the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to:

  • restore local control by confirming the Board of Education’s independent responsibility to administer the School District of Philadelphia;
  • provide for the establishment of procedures for public participation in the Educational Nominating Panel process, revising eligibility requirements, requiring City Council confirmation of School Board appointments, requiring a stated reason for removing a School Board Member and establishing a Parent and Community Advisory Council.

Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell (3rd District) Chair of Council’s Committee on Education, said she continually hears from Philadelphia families about how important the restoration of a locally-appointed board is to them.

“This would mean that parents and neighbors can finally speak to those who directly affect the educational agenda of their children.”

During the hearing, Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), a long-time advocate for local control, said that he believes that Philadelphians will ultimately be proud of the effort to reauthorize a locally-appointed Board of Education but reminded colleagues that larger challenges lay ahead.

“Ultimately, it will be our duty – on behalf of our children, teachers, parents, and advocates – to continue to demand the appropriate level of resources from Harrisburg and to allocate those resources in a way that is fair and equitable and meets our primary goal: educating young people.”

Final vote on this legislation will take place during the Stated Meeting of Philadelphia City Council scheduled for Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 10 a.m. If the legislation is approved by Council and signed by the Mayor, Philadelphia voters will have final say on the ballot question in the primary election to be held Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

Read the legislation:

Board of Education Ballot Question 2 B1800980. 02.27.18

Board of Education Charter Change R 180112. 02.27.18

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