Donate today!
view counter

Parents loud and clear at Council budget hearing

By Deborah Russell... on May 26, 2011 01:50 AM

You could hear the crowd all the way in North Jersey from yesterday’s City Council hearing on the District’s 2011-12 budget.

Hundreds of people and about 130 speakers - among them many parents - packed into Council chambers asking the mayor and councilmembers to figure out a way to put back $600 million dollars set to disappear in part, due to Harrisburg’s state budget cuts.

The hearing drew parents from across the city, "including from Duckrey School in North Philadelphia; Greenfield in Center City; John S. Jenks in Chestnut Hill; Shawmont in Roxborough; Bache-Martin in Fairmount; Meredith in Queen Village; and C.W. Henry in Mt. Airy."

Among them was a dad with two kids in District schools named Kevin Johnson. Johnson, who is pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church in North Philadelphia, said, "Our children are caught in the middle of this debate."

Likewise Danita Bates, a parent activist at Duckrey Middle School chimed in. Taking a swipe at Imagine 2014, which is relatively unscathed in the budget crisis, Bates quipped. "How can I imagine 2014 when I fear 2011 so much?"

Amid the candor, Ann Guise, interviewed by NewsWorks, wasn’t that impressed with parent turnout, “Why there aren't parents protesting and shutting the city down I don’t know.”

Guise runs BrightWorks Initiative, part literacy campaign, part tutoring, and part leadership skills for kids K-12. She is herself an old-school activist and former member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s.

But despite Guide’s disappointment, parents made sure council and mayor understood their displeasure with how the budget deficit is being handled, specifically the targeting full-day kindergarten, art and music instruction, and cuts to individual school budgets.

When Gov. Corbett presented his FY 2011-12 state budget Mayor Nutter said:

"I am very concerned about what the proposals outlined today mean for Philadelphia’s students… I am concerned about the elimination of the School District’s Accountability Block Grant, which we have used in Philadelphia to provide full day kindergarten services.”

The city provides a third of the District’s $3.2 billion dollar budget.

Meanwhile there may be money to restore the funding.

The state reportedly is running a $500 million revenue surplus and declined to tax the lucrative natural gas drilling and exploration companies. Nutter put Philadelphia back in the black last year with across-the-board cuts and ingenious revenue streams like the "red light” program.

Don’t be surprised to see more protests, rallies, and phone banks as parents seek to gain their fair share from City Hall to plug the hole in the District budget.

Click Here
view counter

Comments (2)

Submitted by BocaCPA (not verified) on December 21, 2012 1:17 pm
They need to get that money back in there...we dont need our kids any stupider if it can be helped. Advisory
Submitted by annamariapeter (not verified) on June 5, 2015 7:39 am

It is a good practice to conduct debate between the parents and the council members. This practice can solve the issues between the council and the parent association. Here in this debate the parents were talking the right thing about the budget.Pest control equipment

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

By using this service you agree not to post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable. We reserve the right to delete or remove any material deemed to be in violation of this rule, and to ban anyone who violates this rule. Please see our "Terms of Usage" for more detail concerning your obligations as a user of this service. Reader comments are limited to 500 words. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

Follow Us On

Read the latest print issue

Philly Ed Feed

Recent Comments


Public School Notebook

699 Ranstead St.
Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 839-0082
Fax: (215) 238-2300

© Copyright 2013 The Philadelphia Public School Notebook. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Usage and Privacy Policy