The Board of Education Requests an Investigation into Allegations of Racial Bias in Charter School Authorizing

Posted on December 1, 2021
Categories: Press Releases

The Board of Education has authorized Ballard Spahr LLP, a Philadelphia-based law firm, to conduct an independent investigation concerning allegations of racial bias in charter school authorizing practices. The law firm will conduct this investigation on a pro bono basis.

The Board, which authorizes charter schools in Philadelphia, takes allegations of racial bias seriously. The Board requested this independent investigation to look into specific allegations of discrimination and any discriminatory effects of charter-authorizing practices more generally.

The intent of this investigation is to learn from the past to strengthen charter authorizing practices and build trust in the authorizing system. Ballard is likely to retain a third-party consultant with experience in racial equity analyses to assist the investigation. The District will be responsible for the costs of that retention. It is anticipated that the results of the investigation will be released in Fall 2022.

“The Board takes allegations of racial bias seriously, and we want everyone to know that we are looking transparently at what we do in order to continuously improve our work on behalf of Philadelphia’s students,” said Board President Joyce S. Wilkerson. “We also want our minority founded and led schools to know that we recognize the value their voices bring to the table as we continue to strengthen charter authorizing practices.”