Philly Mayor Wants More Parents, Educators on School Board

Mayor Jim Kenney presented his 2017-2018 budget proposal before City Council, Thursday, Marc h 1, 2018. He asked for $900 million in new funding over the next five years for Philadelphia public schools, as well as an additional $100 million for the city police, $54 million for the fire department and $3.75 million to fight the opioid addition epidemic.

(Published Thursday, March 1, 2018)

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney wants to see more parents and educators added to the list of nominees for the city’s new school board of education.

On Thursday, he asked the recently created nominating panel to provide an additional list that “increases the diversity of the nominee pool.”

“I am impressed by the nominees the panel has recommended so far, and would like to consider more names to ensure that I appoint the strongest board possible,” he said.

Last month, the nominating panel presented a list of 27 names to Kenney that had been whittled down from hundreds of applications.

Under new guidelines established after the School Reform Commission (SRC) voted in November to dissolve itself, Kenney would have to chose nine people from that list to comprise the new Philadelphia board of education.

But on Thursday, less than one week after the mayor proposed $900 million in new taxes to help fund schools, Kenney asked for additional names.

The initial list included several people with “professional and government experience,” but not enough parents and educators, Kenney said. Among those nominated are Reading Terminal Market General Manager Anuj Gupta and current SRC board member Joyce Wilkerson.

The nominating panel will hold a public hearing on March 18 to finalize its second round of recommendations. Kenney will then have 20 days to make his appointments.