The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down some of the emergency powers of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission (SRC), declaring SRC does not have the authority to cap charter school enrollment and must take into account seniority in personnel decisions.
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“This ruling is a mixed bag. The striking down of charter school enrollment caps is great news for the students of Philadelphia public schools. Many more students can now escape the failing traditional public school system.
“The protecting of personnel based on seniority, however, hurts the children trapped in the failing schools. A teacher’s knowledge of subject matter has a much greater effect on increasing learning than seniority. This dynamic may very well increase the exodus of students to available charter schools.”
“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the School Reform Commission’s caps on charter school enrollment is a huge win for Philadelphia families. The best way to help low-income students is to give them a choice in what school they attend, not increase funding to their perpetually underperforming neighborhood public schools.
“Turning charters loose is a good first step, and Pennsylvania already has two great school choice programs in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit. But the true goal should be to make sure every family in Philly and the rest of Pennsylvania has the right to send their children to the school of their choice, including private or religious schools, without being financially penalized.”
“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding charter schools is a mixed bag for Pennsylvania children. The ruling against a charter cap is positive, but allowing teachers’ contracts to retain seniority clauses hurts children because it allows seniority to take precedence over teacher quality.”
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