Philadelphia School Reform Commission approves 5 new charters

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In a meeting Wednesday, Philadelphia's School Reform Commission approved five new charter school applications and denied 34.

The moment the meeting opened, anti-charter school protesters disrupted it. They called calling the thought of more charters, considering the Philadelphia School District's dire financial situation, a disgrace.

The SRC had been reviewing new charter school applications for weeks.

It's the first time they've had an open selection process in seven years.

There were 39 last minute pitches during Wednesday night's meeting but in the end only five were approved. Officials say the other 34 applicants did not meet the right criteria.

Local politicians, including Democratic candidates for mayor, have sided with teacher's union and are against added new charters.

Governor Tom Wolf's administration released the following statement late Wednesday

"The Wolf Administration continues to believe that the district's financial situation cannot responsibly handle the approval of new charter schools. Governor Wolf remains committed to restoring cuts and delivering more funding to public schools across the commonwealth to ensure our children have the resources necessary to succeed. It is imperative for both our children and our economy that we reverse Pennsylvania's public education deficit."

Most critics say charter schools will drain funds from the neighborhood schools.

The SRC will review another round of applications in the fall as required by law.
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