Pennsylvania National Action Network Statement on Sale of William Penn High School
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Faye Anderson
Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network
STATEMENT FROM PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK ON SALE OF
WILLIAM PENN HIGH SCHOOL
Philadelphia, PA – June 20, 2014 – It’s a sad day in North Philadelphia that William
Penn High School has been sold to Temple University. We agree with Commissioner
Sylvia Simms that the community has been “bamboozled.” It’s outrageous that
Councilman Darrell Clarke refused to meet with his constituents who would be directly
impacted by Temple’s plan to build athletic facilities across from their homes.
The Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network (PA NAN) has called attention
to the appearance of a conflict of interest. Temple’s Senior Vice President for
Government, Community and Public Affairs serves on the board of directors of the
Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), the agency tapped by the
School District of Philadelphia to accelerate the sale of William Penn.
The lack of transparency is particularly troubling. Since 2009, the Office of Property
Assessment reported that William Penn High School has a market value of more than
$32 million. Yet the asking price for this prime property was $15 million. Philadelphia
taxpayers have a right to know why the School District left $17 million on the table.
PA NAN filed a Right to Know request to find out what valuation model the School
District used to arrive at the asking price. The School District responded it would provide
“a final response to your request on or before July 14, 2014” – nearly a month after the
School Reform Commission voted to sell William Penn.
Today, it’s Yorktown and Jefferson Manor homeowners. Tomorrow, it could be your
home. It is our homes, our property values, and our history that is being erased.
PA NAN will hold accountable elected officials who have forgotten whose interests they
were elected to represent. While our so-called leaders kowtow to the moneyed interests
in the suites, we will keep the community informed and take action. We will remember in
November 2014 and beyond.
About Pennsylvania State Chapter National Action Network: The Pennsylvania State
Chapter National Action Network is a nonprofit organization incorporated for the purpose of
advocating for equal education opportunities and equal justice under the law; promoting policies
and initiatives to reduce gun violence, racial profiling and “stop and frisk” policing; and fostering
civic engagement by hosting public forums, rallies and other nonpartisan events. For more
information, visit .www.pastatenan.org
About National Action Network: The National Action Network is the nation’s leading civil
rights and human rights organization, with chapters throughout the United States. Founded in
1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of
justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or
gender. For more information, visit .www.nationalactionnetwork.net