How PSP is Supporting Families in Choosing Their Great School

Philadelphia Families Want the Opportunity to Find Great Schools for Their Children
Over 153,000 students exercise school choice everyday

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently ran a series of opinions on school choice and wanted a fact-based op-ed about the state of choice in the city from a credible source, so they turned to Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP). PSP submitted an op-ed that described the two important online tools PSP funds to help families make informed school choices, and provided data showing a majority of Philadelphia families exercise choice everyday by attending a variety of public district schools, public charter schools, and private/parochial schools other than their neighborhood school.

Students at the 2018 High School Fair hosted byPhiladelphia School Partnership and GreatPhillySchools on September 28, 2018 at the PA Convention Center.

Parents want school choice. Here are tools that can help them. | Opinion
Salma Khan and Eileen Walsh work for the Philadelphia School Partnership, where Khan is the director of GreatPhillySchools and Walsh is the manager of Apply Philly Charter
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 20, 2019

Policies in support of school choice have been bitterly contested for years in public discourse. However, the majority of Philadelphia families have made their positions clear: School choice is an integral part of our education system.

In Philadelphia, 65% of the city’s 237,000 school-age children exercise choice every day by attending a school other than their assigned neighborhood school. At the high school level, the numbers are even greater: 88% of all students exercise some form of choice.

All Philadelphia families want the opportunity to find great schools for their children. Instead of debating the reality of what’s already happening, let’s put our collective energy into creating more equitable access and more available seats – particularly for our most vulnerable students – in the schools families want the most.

Read the full op-ed.

More Families are Using Apply Philly Charter to Seek a Great School Option
A 50% increase in applicants compared to this time last year

On September 20, 2019, the application window opened for families to apply to 80 public charter schools on Apply Philly Charter (, which PSP launched in 2018 in partnership with charter schools in response to family feedback about the difficulty of applying to schools with different deadlines and application processes.

In the first 30 days of this year’s application window, over 18,500 students have already applied on Apply Philly Charter. In comparison, over the first 30 days of last year’s application window, the number of student applicants was 12,300—in total, 29,595 students applied during last year’s application window.

This year’s Apply Philly Charter application window closes on January 27, 2020.

A mother and daughter are using Apply Philly Charter to apply to public charter schools at the 2019 High School Fair.

Families Come Out to See A Movie on the Creation of a School Voucher Program
Over 175 people attend the Philadelphia premiere of Miss Virginia

There is great demand from Philadelphia families for better school options, including private/parochial schools. This demand was on display when PSP hosted families from the across the city to the Philadelphia premiere of the Moving Picture Institute’s original film Miss Virginia at the Franklin Institute on October 10. Based on the true story of Virginia Walden-Ford, Miss Virginia stars Emmy-winner Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”) as a struggling single mother who is losing her teenage son to the rough streets of Washington, DC. Unwilling to see him drop out and deal drugs, she puts him in a private school. But when she can’t afford tuition, she launches a movement to create the federal school voucher program, still in operation today.

The film is now available for viewing on Amazon Prime, the iTunes Store, Google Play, and in select theaters.

A family at the October 10, 2019 screening of the movie Miss Virginia at the Franklin Institute.

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