A nonprofit education organization in Philadelphia has offered the city school system up to $35-million to open new charter schools that could enroll some 15,000 students, The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Mark Gleason, executive director of the Philadelphia School Partnership, said the pledge aims to "take the cost issue off the table" as the city School Reform Commission weighs applications for 39 new charters.
The nonprofit partnership was founded in 2010 with a goal of raising $100-million to improve public education in the city. District officials have said creating more charter schools would take money from traditional public schools and have not opened a new charter in seven years. The $35-million offer, made late Wednesday, was praised by charter supporters but criticized by public-school activists, who said it badly underestimates the costs to the district of students switching to charters.