Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney appointed Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett and 12 other Philadelphians to nominate the city's new school board.
This panel of city officials is tasked with nominating 27 candidates to serve in nine positions on the new board, which ultimately will influence the education of around 200,000 students, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The formation of the panel comes after the School Reform Commission voted to disband in November 2017.
Many had long criticized the SRC especially because three of the five members were chosen by the governor and the other two by the mayor. The criticism only continued as the SRC made decisions such as privatizing 38 Philadelphia schools in 2002. In 2015, only 11 percent of Philadelphians felt that the SRC should continue.
Pritchett worked for former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter in 2008 and is a former council member of the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia. Pritchett is also the only appointed member that served on the SRC. He chose to resign in 2014.
With the support of Kenney, city residents, and teacher unions, the SRC returned control over Philadelphia schools back to the city, Philly Magazine reported.
“With a return to local control, the people of Philadelphia will finally be able to hold one person accountable for their school system, the Mayor," Kenney wrote in a public letter.
Any Philadelphia resident who is a registered voter is eligible for consideration for a seat on this board, and applications are due Jan. 31. Kenney will have the final say in selecting the nine members that will advance education policy.
As one of the nominated panel members, Pritchett will be pushed to find candidates who will advance the city's schools.
“Though I believe that the members of the SRC have performed this painful task well, this is not a way to run a high performing school system,” Pritchett wrote.