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Addressing the demand for charter schools

Reps. Martina White and John Lawrence tour Memphis Street Academy Charter School.

State Rep. Martina White hosted a tour of three Philadelphia charter schools with House colleagues. The tour of Lab Charter School (926 Sedgley Ave.), Memphis Street Academy (2950 Memphis St.) and MaST III (1 Crown Way) culminated with a roundtable discussion with school officials at MaST III.

“There is clearly a demand for an alternative to traditional district schools with thousands of students every year stuck on waiting lists,” White said. “More than 23,000 students applied to the city’s charter schools but were turned away due to lack of available spots. It’s clear we must do more to help these families access the education they want for their children.”

Those in attendance included the following CEOs: John Swoyer, of MaST; Amy Hollister, of Northwood Academy; and Anna Marie Siegmann, of Philadelphia Academy Charter School.

“By requiring charter schools to be evaluated every five years, they are held to standards the school district schools are not,” Hollister said. “That means a better charter school can be closed while poorer-performing district schools stay open.”

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