We’ve been following this whole William Penn Foundation/Parents United For Public Education kerfuffle for a little while now, and after an urging from Mayor Nutter, the city’s ethics board has clarified some issues. According to The Inquirer, “The William Penn Foundation said Wednesday that it would resume consideration of grant requests from city agencies, after the city Board of Ethics ruled that the foundation’s largesse would not trigger the city’s lobbying ordinance.” Cool, glad that’s settled. Wait, what’s that? It’s not settled at all? Go ahead, Parents United for Public Education:
Parents United for Public Education agrees with the clarification by the Ethics Board that the lobbying ordinance does not apply to grants made to city agencies at the request of public agencies. We appreciate and support the responsible philanthropy the William Penn Foundation has practiced for years. That is not the concern we have raised with the Ethics Board. Our complaint deals with very different issues which would not arise in a typical grant to a public agency.
Today school communities all across the city face incredible turmoil as a result of a plan the William Penn Foundation funded and directed. If any lobbying occurred during that time, we as parents deserve to know. We hope that today’s decision won’t deter or distract the Ethics Board from a fair and impartial review of the merits of our complaint and helping define the boundaries of the city lobbying law.”
So basically, Parents United is thankful to the Ethics Board for their ruling, but that totally wasn’t their beef. It looks settled on the surface, but what this ruling basically did was put the WPF and the Mayor back on good terms, they both feel better about it, and maybe now Mayor Nutter can get that Bartram’s Mile dough he was looking for (to be fair, their ruling was more in response to the Mayor’s request for clarification than Parents United’s issue). The issue with WPF and Parents United is still unresolved, and you can read more of what Helen Gym of Parents United for Public Education had to say in the sole comment over here.