Philly councilwoman casts doubts on ethics of SRC charter vote

Listen
 Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym is demanding an investigation of the School Reform Commission. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym is demanding an investigation of the School Reform Commission. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A Philadelphia councilwoman has demanded an investigation into whether the School Reform Commission violated Pennsylvania’s “sunshine” law.  

Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym said Thursday she has questions on the ethics of a School Reform Commission vote on a resolution to hand Wister Elementary School over to a charter organization without public comment.

“The School Reform Commission has really broken a lot of the public trust and credibility over the years,” she said. “It’s really time — in light of a very controversial vote that happened in the middle of the night In January at their last meeting — that we take a holistic view of the SRC’s ethical practices  and standards. There are none right now.”

Gym said it’s within the city’s authority to investigate the SRC.

“The city’s integrity officer has in the past done investigations into SRC votes and practices,” she said. “Most importantly, we have to hold them to their own policies and standards.”

Mayor Jim Kenney’s spokeswoman said the integrity officer already is working on a thorough review of ethics at the Philadelphia School District.  The mayor is disappointed that ethics recommendations from 2012 are being ignored, she said.

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.