Several protesters were removed from Wednesday evening's School Reform Commission meeting while the panel was voting on charter-school applications.

"Shame, shame, shame on you," audience members chanted as police moved in on the protesters. Officers had warned them that "failure to disperse will result in arrest." Voting resumed after the protesters were escorted out.

The disruption was the second at the lengthy session, convened to consider 39 charter applications.

The meeting was called to order at 3:39 p.m. but people in the audience were already chanting. People booed as SRC members were identified during a roll call.

Then the protest erupted. People put up their hands.

"When are you guys going to listen to us? Systematic genocide is not tolerated," they shouted. The meeting came to a halt.

The afternoon protest lasted just a few minutes and then the meeting resumed, although some in the audience remained loud and disruptive as the meeting continued.

The issue of charter schools has been controversial. No new charter applications have been accepted for seven years, though the district has more than doubled charter enrollment in that period through expansion of existing charters and the conversion of struggling district schools into charters.

Thousands are on charter waiting lists.

The district says that every student in a new charter school costs it $7,000 annually - money that comes directly from district schools.

District officials have estimated that the six-year cost of approving 15,000 new charter seats would be in the range of a half-billion dollars.

Gov. Wolf has said he wants no new charters approved.

Republicans who control the state legislature want more charters.