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Panel votes to give Philadelphia control of schools

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia has moved another step closer to gaining control of the city’s struggling public school system after 16 years of state oversight.

The School Reform Commission on Thursday voted to dissolve itself and return the school district to local control.

Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney wants to replace the commission with a local school board that would be appointed by him and approved by the City Council. It would be put in place by July 1, 2018. Kenney says it’s time for the city to be accountable for the education of its 200,000 schoolchildren.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf supports local control.

The commission was created in 2001 as a temporary form of governance for the school district.

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