Think You Could Help Run Philly’s Schools? The City Wants to Meet You

Here's a warning, though: the job's unpaid.

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We know many of you (if not all of you) are less-than-happy with our public schools.

But here’s your chance to tell officials how you’d run the show: the city is currently accepting applications for its brand new nine-member Board of Education.

The board’s creation comes after the state’s decision to end the contentious School Reform Commission, which has overseen Philly schools since 2001. The five-member commission (comprised of three members nominated by the governor and two chosen by the mayor) will officially dissolve in July, and when the new board will take over.

The move allows for the city – and maybe you – to have more of a say in Philly’s school system. Board of Education members are expected to work together to oversee all major policy, budgetary and financial decisions for the School District of Philadelphia, including appointing and evaluating the district’s superintendent, adopting annual budgets and authorizing all funds and expenditures. Members will attend regularly monthly public meetings as well as biannual meetings with City Council members and the mayor.

There’s a catch, though, and it’s a major one: the position is unpaid. This is no small detail to gloss over, considering the job is rather demanding. That being said, if you’re still interested in applying, know that you must be, per the city:

  • A Pennsylvania citizen (0f good moral character)
  • At least 18 years old
  • A resident of the city for at least one year prior to the starting date
  • A registered voter in the city

If you’ve got that list checked off, know that you can’t be:

  • A city official or employee
  • A school district employee
  • In the office of:
    • County Commissioner
    • District Attorney
    • City Treasurer
    • Member of Council
  • Removed from federal, state, or local office of trust or profit for any malfeasance
  • A person who has already served on the board for three full terms
  • A person who serves on the board of trustees of a charter school located in Philly

Plus, it certainly helps to have some experience under your belt. Officials are looking for someone who understands the challenges of urban education and has attended the school district or has a child in the school district. It’s also a plus if you’ve had experience financially managing some kind of large or comparable institution. (You will, after all, being overseeing a nearly 3 billion dollar annual budget.)

Got it? Great. Now go apply – or nominate someone else.

(Oh, and by the way, the district is also hiring 150 new employees. Those positions are paid.)