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Hite addresses City Council's moratorium resolution at MLK public meeting

Photo: Brad Larrison/NewsWorks

by Trenae V. McDuffie for NewsWorks

Parents, teachers, students, community activists, and elected officials again packed the Martin Luther King High School auditorium Thursday night with concerns, recommendations, and questions for Superintendent William Hite and District officials regarding the plan to close 37 school buildings and relocate or reconfigure more.

Similar to other school-closure meetings, many held signs, chanted, and shouted cheers regarding the numerous Northwest Planning Area schools involved.

Fighting for Northwest schools

Minutes before the meeting began, supporters of Jay Cooke Elementary School, near Broad and Louden Streets, chanted, "Stars are born at Jay Cooke."

First in line to address District officials was student Shamar Haynesworth.

"We don't want Jay Cooke to close," Haynesworth said. "We have a valuable school. It's great."

Melanie Haynesworth, Cooke's Home and School group president, then said she was amazed that her son has taken such a vocal stand.

"It's the importance of keeping the school open," she said. "We have a health center there and numerous programs in the school. And if you close the school, those programs are gone, too. You have a health center where almost 200 people ... still utilize that building."

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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Comments (6)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 26, 2013 4:56 am
Grandstanding by the crooks on council. Now with AVI city council intends to jack up taxes on middle class taxpayers and at the same time actually lower the property taxes for low end housing (that often blights neighborhoods) to a $100 a year. Goal to create a new class of dependent machine voters. $100 is not enough to pay for trash pickup let alone fund schools or pay for other collective needs. And even this $100 is optional if your councilman lets you join the 20% of properties citywide that are many years delinquent. Driving out taxpayers while creating new classes of government dependents has been city council's MO for decades now. Of course, this policy is not at all consistent with funding quality schools. Philly voters are too dumb or too corrupted by city council's pay-offs to recognize this obvious contradiction. This is why the SRC exists in the first place... Everyone bitches about Harrisburg or Lower Merion while ignoring how council protects a vast swathe of Philly's population from contributing anything to our common needs.
Submitted by FRustrated City worker (not verified) on January 26, 2013 6:07 am
Between annual escalating property taxes and the wage tax, Philadelphia is extremely expensive for those who earn a middle class income as a city worker (we still don't have a contract).. I agree, there should be a minimum property tax and delinquent taxes need to be collected. I assume people know you can look up who has paid and has not paid property taxes at phila.gov. I live in a working class neighborhood. At least half of the families on my block have not paid their property taxes - some for over 6 or 7 years. Nothing seems to be done about it. Meanwhile, as a single working parent, it is hard to pay basic bills as gas, electric and water go up along with food prices. I have read that I need to earn at least $73,000/year for a family of 4 to compare to someone who qualifies for food stamps, federal tax credit, child care subsidy, and other benefits. I also don't get assistance with housing costs, heating bills, etc. On top of this, if someone gets SSI, they are living much better than me and my children. Something has to give...
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 26, 2013 2:41 pm
I feel your pain....those of us who are caught in the middle clearly get the short end of the stick....I too struggle with paying the basics as a single middle class educator.....and on top of that I put money from my paycheck back into my classroom when I really can't afford it.....should I buy paper for my classroom so I can copy homework for the week or buy groceries to put into my refrigerator.....why does an educated person have to make these kinds of decisions?.....sad!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 27, 2013 4:03 pm
Many people who post on this site have NO IDEA what teachers need to do in Urban settings nor could many of them be able to hang for 5 minutes in a city school. It's a lot safer being experts from the sidelines.
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on January 27, 2013 4:32 pm
I know. The city is owed 1/2 BILLION in taxes but the slumlords are buddies or council family members themselves so that money will NEVER be collected. The combination of utter fraud coupled with Corbett's abuse is simply devastating to the kids and their families.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 28, 2013 10:03 am
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