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School Reform Commission Says Its Vote on Charter Applications Will Have Little Budget Impact

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The School Reform Commission says money was not a factor in voting to approve five of 39 applications for new charter schools.

One thing was clear:  no matter how the School Reform Commission voted on new charters, they weren't going to please everyone.   Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, says he was disappointed the commission added five new charters.

"The SRC clearly indicated that they are willing to increase their deficit by doing so," Jordan told KYW Newsradio.

The district faces an $80-million deficit next year, but SRC chair Bill Green (seated at center of table)  says adding five charters won't break the budget because four of the schools would open in 2016.

"It will be very limited in the next few years after that, as a consequence of the continued closure of non-performing charter schools.  So it's of limited impact on the five-year plan," he said.

And Green says the charters have until May 31st to sign on to the conditions the SRC set for their charter approvals.  The charter applicants that were denied have the option to appeal to a state board.




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