Future of proposed Hebrew language school uncertain

    Proponents of a Hebrew language charter school in Philadelphia are preparing to open the school to students this fall. But the School District of Philadelphia isn’t even considering the idea right now.

    Proponents of a Hebrew language charter school in Philadelphia are preparing to open the school to students this fall. But the School District of Philadelphia isn’t even considering the idea right now.

    The school would offer non-religious Hebrew language and culture studies.

    Steve Crane heads a committee behind it. He says rather than seek its own charter, the school would partner with World Communications, an existing charter school that hasn’t met its maximum enrollment.

    Still, the School District of Philadelphia would have to amend the World Communications’s charter in order to add school space and programming. Crane says he believes talks between the two sides are on track, and that the school should open in the fall.

    Crane:
    Very good chance. I mean there is a Plan B for the following year, but we anticipate this year.

    School District Chief Charter and New Schools Officer Ben Rayer says otherwise.

    Rayer:

    No, the district is not considering the idea at this point. Any existing charter school would have to seek approval from the School Reform Commission to amend its charter to provide a different program. And at this time, nothing has been requested or asked of us.

    World Communications representatives were not available to comment for this story.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.