As it turns out, maybe all you need is a little support from some crazies: The School Reform Commission has voted to turn Creighton Elementary into a charter school run by Universal Cos. Inc, according to The Inquirer. Universal (founded by Kenny Gamble, of Gamble & Huff, and using city money to do nothing) will run the Creighton School against the wishes of many teachers who wanted the chance to turn the school around themselves. In fact, that was the option that seemed that it was going to happen, until some voting members of the school’s advisory council changed their mind. Which has led to accusations of, ‘”unethical tactics” to “sway and rally our SAC members to support them,”‘ and a, ‘”scare-and-bribe‘ dinner.” Unethical tactics? From Universal? Never.
Oh, and there’s also this:
… Thomas Darden, the official in charge of the charter office, disclosed that the district had just reached an agreement with Universal on outstanding “licensing fees” for two other former district schools run by Universal since September. Universal will not pay to use Audenried High and Vare Middle School buildings this year, Darden said, because the schools’ small size means the company does not have enough money to pay rent and to effectively overhaul education. Audenried is a virtually new $55 million facility.
Now, Universal will pay $500,000 annually – $300,000 to use Audenried and $200,000 for Vare. The district will still have to subsidize some of the cost of maintenance services and utilities. Asked if the district – which has a $218 million budget gap for the 2012-13 school year and had to cut $700 million from its budget this current year – was concerned about giving Universal a free pass, Darden said it was. But, he said, Universal officials “believed they had negotiated an understanding with the prior administration,” Arlene C. Ackerman’s, to use the schools rent-free.”
We guess we know Gamble by now, so we should have seen this coming. We always knew we liked Huff better.