Gov. Wolf, teachers' union decry Philadelphia's charter school expansion

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PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia's School Reform Commission has approved just five of 39 new charter school applications, but Gov. Tom Wolf and a teachers' union say any new charters will be a financial strain on the city's public school system.

Wolf issued a statement after Thursday's vote saying the district, which projects an $80 million budget deficit next school year, can't responsibly handle the approval of new charter schools.

The commission granted conditional three-year charters to: Independence Charter School West, KIPP Dubois, MaST Community, Mastery and Tech Freire.

Commission Chairman Bill Green says three schools will open next year, easing the financial burden.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan says with more money going to charter schools the district will struggle even more to provide non-charter students with adequate staffing and supplies.

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