School Reform Commission gains members

    The Philadelphia School Reform Commission will soon swear in two new board members. The new commissioners, two politically connected attorneys, come in at a time when the district is facing a budget shortfall of about $160 million dollars.

    The Philadelphia School Reform Commission will soon swear in two new board members. The new commissioners, two politically connected attorneys, come in at a time when the district is facing a budget shortfall of about $160 million dollars.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091005spschool.mp3]

    The appointments also come on the heels of the resignation of Heidi Ramirez. School advocates say she was the only one to ask tough questions.

    One of the new board members is Joe Dworetsky, a bankruptcy lawyer, who served as Philadelphia’s City Solicitor under former mayor Ed Rendell.

    Dworetsky: The principal tool of a board member is to ask questions and to challenge the answers and to be sure that important decisions be talked through and enjoy the support of the board and I’ll do that. I think that anybody that’s worked with me over the years knows that I’m not shy, I ask a lot of questions.

    The other new member, David Girard-DiCarlo, is also an attorney, and a major fundraiser for the Republican party. Girard-DiCarlo would not comment on his appointment, saying it would be – quote – the “height of arrogance” to do so.

    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.