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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2015 02:53 PM
From: Representative Michael H. O'Brien
To: All House members
Subject: Creation of Elected School District in Philadelphia (Former House Bill 2390 of 2013-14 Session)
As you know, the Philadelphia School District has been in turmoil for years. We have tried the experiment of State control and it has been a failure with no accountability. At this time the District resembles an education system of a third world nation and it has to stop. Our society fails when we have an uneducated society.

Shortly, I plan to introduce legislation to try a new approach to our crisis. I am proposing we change the control of the school district and truly give it local control. My legislation establishes an elected school board to be accountable for the district and shifts the taxing power for the district to this new board from the City of Philadelphia.

While there has been other legislation to address this districts problems, none has abolished the powers of the School Reform Commission. This legislation will and is long overdue.

This new board will consist of an elected board, one member from each Council district, one at large member and one non-voting appointee by the Mayor. Each member is elected for a two-year term with a term limit of 10 years. This would be an unpaid Board.

While similar to Rep. Cruz & Rep. Cohen's legislation, this Bill goes farther and insures responsibility and accountability. I would welcome your support of this legislation.

Introduced as HB195