School District recommends no charter school expansion next year

 

Hundreds rallied for renewal and expansion of charter schools in the city. Rikard Larma/METRO
Hundreds rallied on April 14 for renewal and expansion of charter schools in the city. Rikard Larma/METRO

The School District of Philadelphia will not approve Charter expansions next  year, officials announced Thursday.

Twenty-one city charter schools asked to add a total of 15,000 seats for the 2013-14 school year.

The district points to a $304 budget shortfall, and a $500 million price tag it claims expansion would cost over a five-year period.

“Given our dire financial prospects, we must ask for shared sacrifices from our partners,” said Superintendent William Hite said in a statement. “It would be irresponsible for the District to endorse charter expansion while asking our principals to do the impossible with school budgets.”

The School Reform Commission is expected to vote on charter renewals at its May 15 meeting.

District officials have previously asked for $60 million from the city and $120 million from the state for relief and has also suggested employee cut backs. Without  the added funding, Hite has warned of massive cuts.

Hundreds rallied for the School Reform Commission to approve charter school renewal and expansion requests at its April 14th rally in front of the district’s headquarters on North Broad Street.

“Tell the SRC and the school district of Philadelphia and special interests groups to get out of the children’s way,” said Naomi Booker, CEO of the Global Leadership Academy Charter School at the rally. “Let them get in.”


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