City council considers calling more charter schools to serve as polling places

Mike DeNardo
January 27, 2019 - 4:00 am
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A resolution introduced by City Councilman Bobby Henon encourages more Philadelphia charter schools to become polling places on Election Day.

The resolution calls on city charter schools to close or change their schedules on election days, so that they can become polling places. District schools already close for students. Henon says many charters are in accessible buildings in the heart of neighborhoods.

"It's difficult to find polling places, a lot of times, centrally located in certain neighborhoods and strategically planned geographically," Henon said. "Charter schools happen to be some of that void by just allowing the doors to be opened to the general public to come out and participate in the elections."

Lisa Deeley, chair of the City Commissioners, said, "We're very fortunate with the relationship we have with the Philadelphia School District. We use a lot of their buildings. We use a lot of city facilities, such as rec centers, libraries. And the charter schools would just be another tool," Deeley said.

Last November, 21 of Philadelphia's 87 charter schools served as polling places, including at least seven Mastery Charter locations. KIPP Philadelphia operates six charters, and CEO Jessica Cunningham Akoto said in a statement that in response to the resolution, KIPP will do everything it can to ensure its school buildings can be used as polling stations on upcoming Election Days.