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Phila. education organizing work funded

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Members of the Philadelphia Cross-City Campaign for School Reform – including the Notebook – have received new funding as part of Communities for Public Education Reform (CPER), a philanthropic initiative to unite community leaders, parents and students to help shape school reform efforts in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.

Funders including the Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and William Penn Foundation are providing support to grassroots groups in three other U.S localities plus Philadelphia through this new fund.

The $6 million CPER fund for education organizing provides direct support to grassroots an allied education groups, plus opportunities for all for localities to share ideas and strategies.

Besides the Notebook, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Communities for Public Education Reform groups include: Philadelphia ACORN, the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project, Philadelphia Student Union, Youth United for Change, Good Schools Pennsylvania, Education Law Center, and Research for Action.

Specifically, the southeastern Pennsylvania coalition will target school funding and high school reform policies. The ultimate goal of organizing community support around school funding is to comprehensively revise the state's school funding formula to ensure a more equitable distribution of state resources. For he pas four years, the state has ranked as one of the worst in the nation when it comes to educational equity, according to Education Week's “Quality Counts” report.

Ali Kronley, head organizer of Philadelphia ACORN, said the initiative “will allow us to coordinate our efforts, support one another and take the work to he next level reaching into the suburbs around Philadelphia, with their increasing low-income populations of color.”

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