Councilwoman Cindy Bass (8th District) will host a series of five community hearings to prepare residents for, and receive their input on the replacement of the SRC with a mayor-appointed school board following news that the School Reform Commission will vote on whether to dissolve itself by the end of the year. The first hearing will be held at Lutheran Theological Seminary on Wednesday, November 8 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
“The pending dissolution of the School Reform Commission will place Philadelphians in full control of the future of our children and our education system,” Councilwoman Bass said. “As we move into the next phase of reform, it is time to hit ‘reset’ on the School District and to reset our expectations for our school system. Gauging community expectation will be crucial during such a transition.”
Local education experts and advocates including former SRC Chair Sandra Dungee Glenn, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and several others will be on hand to provide community members with important historical context and general information about the progression of the school district, answer community questions, and help examine city-run school board alternatives. Councilwoman Bass’ office will then gather information about school district funding, school performance, and public opinion on what’s working to be presented in a report as the hearings conclude.
“We need to learn what parents, advocates and other education stakeholders expect to see in order to ensure that when we dissolve the SRC, the new governing body can be held accountable for academic growth, community and business engagement, facility up-keep, and the like,” Councilwoman Bass said. “It’s important to establish expectations and success metrics to help create a locally controlled school board that results in a more equitable school system.”
Residents and parents of children living in the 8th District, no matter where the children attend school, are invited to participate in the hearings.
“Even as we prepare to move away from state-control of Philadelphia’s education system, we can’t take pressure off of the policymakers in Harrisburg for equitable funding. Funding that gives each child the same chance to succeed, has yet to be realized by the state,” Councilwoman Bass said. “But in the meantime, we in Philadelphia must create the best possible outcomes for our children. A new board should mean a new opportunity to turn the tide and do right by our city’s children. This time, the parents, students and neighbors most affected by decisions about Philadelphia public schools should be at the table.”
The hearings will take place as follows. More dates will be added as scheduled:
November 8, 2017, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at Lutheran Theological Seminary, 7301 Germantown Avenue
November 11, 2017, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, 6401 Ogontz Avenue
November 18, 2017, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at Oasis City Church, 5248 N. 5th Street
# # #
Councilwoman Cindy Bass represents the 8th Council District, which includes Germantown, Mt. Airy, Nicetown, Tioga, Chestnut Hill, portions of Logan, and West Oak Lane. She is Chair of Council’s committees on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Public Health and Human Services.