Serious Blow to School Choice Movement in Philadelphia

By, Special for  USDR

Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission (SRC) announced today that 5 new charter schools have been authorized of the 39 applications. This means that there will be fewer than 5,000 seats available to approximately 40,000 children on the charter school waiting  list.

David Hardy,‘s spokesman and CEO of Philadelphia Boys Latin, said, “Tens of thousands of Philadelphiafamilies on charter school waiting lists will feel ignored and disrespected by this news. Today’s announcement sends a message: The SRC would rather use its limited resources to keep open certain chronically failing district schools than allow proven, high performing charter schools to expand. And with district schools spending more per student than the charter schools, the excuse of a budget crisis falls flat. It’s time we call this what it is in plain language: A condescending slap in the face to the wishes of Philadelphia families who’ve asked for more charter  schools.”

The charter school applications have been piling up for years at the School Reform Commission, and the waiting list for seats in charter schools has been growing steadily as well. Last year, began airing radio and television ads ofPhiladelphia parents discussing their children and their positive experience with Philadelphia’s charter schools. This unique public education campaign focused on dispelling myths advanced by charter school opponents. also coordinated the efforts of concerned parents by sponsoring rallies and urging supporters to testify at SRC public  meetings.

Bob Bowdon, Executive Director of Choice Media and sponsor of the charter school education campaign, added that, “At the beginning of the day, tens of thousands of Philadelphia families were waiting to find out if their children would have seats in newly-approved charter schools. At the close of the day, the great majority of these families have been absolutely devastated by the news that only 5 of the 39 applications had been approved. We will redouble our efforts at to serve as a voice for those  families.” has gained the support of thousands of Philadelphia parents who want to learn more about moving their children into charter schools or accessing the tax credit scholarships. Their TV and radio ad campaign has been cited in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Public Record, PoliticoNational Review and the Wall Street  Journal.


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