This report is from PFT Retiree and Caucus Member Diane Payne.
I went to the SRC meeting on Thursday, April 16th with my prepared speech, complete with examples on their continued violation of the Sunshine Act. No democracy anywhere evident in SRC proceedings. Kensington Urban High School was there in force to speak out against the school district's proposed closing of their school. In addition, resolution #10 was to suspend the school code which spells out a 3 month process in favor of a shortened 45 day process.
Students, parents, teachers, community members all spoke against both the closing and the suspension of the school code. However once again, the SRC locked arms and in complete disregard of the affected stakeholders voted unanimously to go right ahead and suspend the code in favor of a fast track to closing. (Not to mention their plans to move forward with privatizing substitute service and the convoluted Gallery tax deal.)
Another observation, at the beginning of the meeting, Chairwoman Neff informed the audience that they would be instituting a more transparent way of handling resolutions by posting them 3 weeks in advance instead of 24 hours in advance. Public voice is to be included, etc. etc. Funny that the Sunshine Act law suit is still outstanding. I wonder if they are just trying to save face because they still certainly aren't giving even a pretend nod to public engagement.
Finally, members of the Kensington School community became somewhat rowdy as the vote neared and even cursed -- the frustration of the continually silenced. They filed out after the vote and Commissioner Jimenez had the nerve to offer a "public apology" for their behavior. The arrogance of this out-of-touch-body is mind boggling. The SRC should be apologizing to them for a laundry list of harm.
The SRC meets the third Thursday every month at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium of 440 N. Broad Street. Next month, they will institute their new resolution process. So, the list of resolutions should be posted on the website May 1st for the May 21st meeting. To register to speak, you call 215-400-4180 by 4:30 p.m. the day before the hearing. Also, the SRC is traveling around the city to hold "community budget meetings." That list is also posted on the district website. The next one is April 22nd at Bartram High School.