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October 05, 2016

Two resignations on Philly SRC; Wolf, Kenney to fill seats

The chairwoman and a longtime commissioner of the School Reform Commission in Philadelphia have resigned, months before their terms were set to expire in January 2017.

The Wednesday announcement by the School District of Philadelphia came ahead of what's expected to be a shake-up on the five-person SRC.

Marge Neff, the SRC chair, was appointed in July 2014 by then-Mayor Nutter and named chair in March 2015 by Gov. Tom Wolf. Her resignation is effective Nov. 3.

Feather Houstoun was appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett in December 2011. Her resignation will become effective much sooner – Oct. 14.

Mayor Jim Kenney will appoint Neff's replacement while Wolf will name a replacement for Houstoun.

“My experience as a commissioner has also strengthened my longstanding belief that the School District of Philadelphia is filled with dedicated and talented teachers, principals, and staff, all of whom are committed to providing the best possible education for our children," Neff said in a statement. "I marvel at the courage and commitment of those children and their families. It has been an honor to serve them.”

Neither Neff nor Houstoun is expected to be reappointed, the Philadelphia Public School Notebook reported. Commissioner Sylvia Simms' term will expire in January. 

Neff voted against the expansion of Philadelphia's charter school, the Inquirer reported.

In the statement, Schools Superintendent Dr. William Hite praised both Neff and Houstoun for their dedication to the SRC as well as Philadelphia's families and students.