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Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney addresses the city council.

City of Philadelphia puts forth plan to resume control of public school system

System has been overseen since 2001 by a School Reform Commission.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is backing a plan to take back control of the city’s struggling school district, which is facing a $1 billion deficit.

WCAU-TV reports that Kenney addressed a packed session of Philadelphia City Council Thursday morning to discuss the proposal.

The plan would dissolve Philadelphia's School Reform Commission (SRC), which has overseen operations of city public and charter schools since 2001.

"Again, and again, we've told the people of Philadelphia the state of their schools is someone else's responsibility," Kenney told the council. "That ends today." 

The SRC has three members, appointed by the governor, who serve five years each and two members, appointed by the mayor, who serve four years each.

The plan being put forth calls for the the SRC to recommend its dissolution by a majority vote on Nov. 16. The Pennsylvania Secretary of Education must then certify the vote by issuing a declaration dissolving the SRC by Dec. 31.

Even if the dissolution is granted, it won't go into effect until June 30 — the end of the fiscal year. During the six-month period, the SRC will continue to oversee the district while a new school board is appointed.

The new school board would have nine members appointed by Kenney. A 13-member nominating committee will receive nominations for the board and narrow  27 candidates for Kenney to consider. 

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