SRC votes to shutter another charter school
All but one of Philadelphia’s School Reform Commissioners voted to shutter the doors at Imani Education Circle in Germantown at Nov. 20’s meeting, adding onto a growing list of charter schools that have been closed in the past two years. Commissioner Sylvia Simms dissented.
The school community condemned the decision and said that it would appeal to the state’s oversight board. This is the SRC’s second vote against Imani. More than a year ago, the commission voted to not renew the charter because of performance and financial issues. The school has argued that it’s no worse off than others in the city. Children at the school come from all over Philadelphia, and the vast majority of students are economically disadvantaged.
Imani will be the second charter that the SRC closed this school year after Walter Palmer Charter School in Tacony was shut down for surpassing enrollment caps. Wakisha Charter School in North Philadelphia also closed this year, but the school’s board voted to shut it down because of low enrollment.
As the commission closes schools, it is also considering new applications for the first time in five years. Some large, chain charter schools are applying to expand, while others, like possible Germantown High School, are a community-driven effort to put an application in for the first time. If that school is approved by the SRC, it will be just minutes from the soon-to-be-shuttered Imani school, but will serve middle to high school rather than elementary and middle school students.