Dawkins releases statement on Franklin Towne Charter school lottery fixing

PHILADELPHIA, May 8 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., said he is deeply concerned following reports that Franklin Towne Charter High School in Bridesburg had manipulated its lottery to deny acceptance to students based on ZIP code or history of academic or behavioral issues.

“This is unacceptable. This discriminatory act is a violation of Pennsylvania law and denies children their right to a fair education,” Dawkins said. “As taxpayers, we should not be funding schools that engage in such practices.”

The school is currently being investigated after a top administrator at the school alleged that the lottery was fixed.

“If found guilty, they should face severe penalties. We must hold our schools accountable for providing equal opportunities for all students” he said. “It’s unacceptable that Franklin Towne Charter High School may have discriminated against students based on their ZIP codes during their admission lottery.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer obtained data showing that 17 ZIP codes with 110 combined applicants had none selected, while 205 students were chosen from ZIP codes that had 702 total applicants. Dawkins said this raises serious concerns about the fairness and integrity of the lottery process.

“Furthermore, reports of the school board's alleged favoritism towards former CEO Joe Venditti and the mistreatment of students with disabilities are alarming,” Dawkins said. “Changes are imperative to ensure public accountability and that all students are being served equally. If these allegations are found to be true, there should be consequences for the school. Discrimination has no place in education, and it's important that we hold institutions accountable for their actions. Let's work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive educational system for all students.”