Protest calls for disbanding of SRC as top members leave

Kenney to launch fight for ‘local control’ of Philly schools

Activists from the Our City Our Schools campaign rallied Thursday outside the School District of Philadelphia to demand an end to the School Reform Commission’s control of Philly schools.

The commission was instituted in 2001 by the state to replace the existing school board, mostly over reportedly mismanaged finances. Public school and teachers union members have long criticized the School Reform Commission’s (SRC) leadership, which has a majority of members appointed by the governor and some appointed by the Philadelphia mayor.

Members Marjorie Neff and Feather Houstoun both recently announced their resignations, and the protest comes as Mayor Jim Kenney and Gov. Tom Wolf consider their picks for replacements.

Wolf favors abolishing the commission, but said he can’t do it alone.

“He does not have unilateral authority to do so,” a spokesman said. “The governor remains focused on greater investment in our schools.”

K-12 education funding has seen a $415 million boost since Wolf took office two years ago, including nearly $100 million for Philadelphia, according to the governor’s office.