The Notebook

Paid Advertisement
view counter

Parents are mobilizing, the way they know how

by thenotebook on May 10 2013 Posted in Commentary

by Kristen Poole

Hundreds of students marched to City Hall yesterday demanding that the city help with the School District's dire budget shortfall. It was an admirable, even inspiring moment of collective civic action. The students, who came from many different schools, organized a march in the ways expected from young people today: over social media, through text messaging, and by word of mouth.

The demonstration was both highly visible and audible. It could be tracked with news helicopters in the air and documented by iPhones on the ground.

Lately, there has been a surge of activity more difficult to see and hear. I'm referring to the activity of hundreds of parents fighting for the schools. Those of us with work to do, dinner to cook, and kids to car-pool haven’t been staging large Occupy Wall Street-type protests. But don’t mistake our lack of chanting on Broad Street for silence.

Ask members of City Council whether they think parents have been quiet. Over the last two weeks, parents have been mobilizing. There have been, for instance, extensive campaigns to write and call Council representatives. When I asked the staffer of one council member whether there had been many calls, he answered, “millions.” That might have been an overstatement, but the larger point is true: Parents are organized, and we are marching in our own special way.

On April 29, parents from Meredith and other Center City schools walked to City Hall for Superintendent William Hite’s budget presentation to City Council. On May 7, Independence Charter School had a “Day of Action”: 87 families and staff members made 300 calls to 44 city and state politicians, including Gov. Corbett. On May 11, a coalition of parents from GAMP, Penn Alexander, and CAPA will hold a petition drive at the Spruce Hill Community Association’s annual May Fair. On May 20, there will be a rally at Roxborough High School to protest the budget cuts. 

Here are some more examples:

  • The Greenfield Home and School Association has organized an ongoing calling campaign targeting three Council members per day.
  • The Greater Center City Schools Coalition has a similar campaign, including calls to the mayor’s office.
  • Parents, teachers, and students at Shawmont, Cook-Wissahickon, and Dobson elementary schools have mounted petition drives, organized days of phone calls to Council members, and are planning lobbying visits.
  • Masterman parents, already writing and calling, have been tweeting.
  • GAMP's families have sent at least 1,580 letters to Council members.
  • Penn Alexander has been promoting petitions, one of which currently has 3,000 signatures.

And so on.

Parents are organizing in the ways that we would expect from middle-aged people today: over e-mail, through text messaging, and by telephone. Yes, even on Facebook.

The parents’ network consists of overlapping networks -- the people we know from kids’ schools and activities, from around the neighborhood, from work, from religious communities. When I was growing up in the suburbs in the '70s and '80s, these networks tended to be one and the same: Where you lived determined where you went to school, which determined what activities you took part in. There was one set of parents, not a Venn diagram full of them.

This is not what happens in Philadelphia today. If there are five kids on a block, they seem to go to five different schools. Even within a single family, three kids might attend three different schools. Neighborhoods are tight, but this is in spite of, not because of, common schools. The children’s activities can take you all over the city. The social networks multiply and intersect.

It is this extensive network that enables the loose but effective coordination of the parent protest. It means that a letter-signing drive at the Fairmount Arts Crawl can be conducted by neighborhood kids who are in four different schools. It means that one Home and School Association meeting has parents from different neighborhoods. It means that when the chair of City Council’s Education Committee says on a Thursday night that she is refusing to endorse additional funding for schools, by Saturday afternoon, dozens, even hundreds of smartphone-wielding parents on the sidelines at kids’ baseball games are talking about it.

The nature of the parents' network speaks to one reason why we need strong public schools in Philadelphia. Schools are part of what holds the social network of this city together. Take away the families with children in public schools, and the network frays. That’s why, in our own way, parents are calling.

Kristen Poole teaches at the University of Delaware, but prefers to live in Philly.  A resident of Fairmount, she and her husband have a child in a public school (GAMP) and another in parochial school.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

 

Click Here
view counter

Comments (35)

Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 12:12.

Gee what planet are you living on?

At my neighborhood HS we have heard nothing from the parents. It is as quiet and ill attended as a parent report card night. The parents appear to be going with the path of least effort.

But the is normal operating procedure.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 14:18.

Of course this is going to vary from one neighborhood to another. I predict an upsurge in parental concern because the recently released budget is hitting home to all schools. Previously, we had not been hearing much from the Merediths and the Penn Alexander parents.

Their schools were not targeted for closure. They could pull off a fundraiser and fill in some gaps here and there. Take away their secretary and their counselor. Now these are fighting words.
Likely, just to manipulate the union members and to bargain for concessions. But there may be the unintended consequence of rousing this dormant city on behalf of public education.

This activism does not begin to address the young people who apparently have been paying close attention in social studies class. They know their rights are being trampled on. They realize their future lookk grim if public education continues to be starves for resources. They know it is a scam that their teachers are to blame for the standardized test scores. So far their activism has been inspiring. Their well organized efforts are a great public relations coup that money could not buy.

(Which is great, because here at the ground level in our schools, we don't have a cent to spare).

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 14:46.

Exactly. Their rights are certainly being trampled on.

What is for sure is that we have a whole lot of really well educated students who are very sharp and will figure out the deal very quickly.

I had the great fortune of doing my administrative internship at CAPA. Those kids are unbelievably awesome and intelligent. I am sure so are the others.

The students may turn out to be their own best advocates.

Certainly we adults have not done a successful job on their behalf. Anyone who would even say that it is alright to implement the budget as proposed has got to be of questionable integrity.

Submitted by Education Grad ... on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 20:52.

"Anyone who would even say that it is alright to implement the budget as proposed has got to be of questionable integrity."

Rich,

I could not agree more with you about this. Even the best teachers and best principal will struggle to provide a high-quality education and maintain a sense of sanity if they have no support staff.

EGS

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 14:31.

This make believe budget crisis deserves and badly needs one thing and it ain't a hundred kids at 440. These buzzards need to feel real pressure, up close and personal, as well as MASSIVE. Having Ackerman, I mean Hite and Mutter and Pedro running to Harrisburg is a joke, a particularly mean joke at that. They're all in on the take and are nothing more than puppets and minions at best. Also, does anybody really think this "crisis" is really going to be felt by the charters?? SERIOUSLY ??!!.
It's all part of the same scam and the bubbleheads like Mutter are doing their part while Scotty 2 shoes and Gamble are laughing all the way to the bank. This is nothing more than another carpet bombing run directed by the shot callers and carried out by the usual torpedoes--Corbett who should be in jail over the Sandusky farce, Mutter, Pedro and Ackerman, I mean Hite. That's all there is, there ain't no more.

Submitted by Sarah Clark Stuart (not verified) on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 17:25.

I've been helping organize parents from Science Leadership Academy. We have sent letters, made phone calls and held 4 visits this past week with Council members. We have 3 meetings set up for next week. I've been sending out detailed emails to the entire parent body and those have gone up on our facebook group page.https://www.facebook.com/SLAfamilies?fref=ts
I'm so encouraged that other parents are getting involved!

Submitted by Sarah Clark Stuart (not verified) on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 17:32.

Science Leadership Academy Parents have been working hard also! We have sent letters, made phone calls and met with 4 Council members this past week and three more this coming week. We have sent out detailed emails and posted them on our facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/SLAfamilies?fref=ts
We are so glad to hear that we are not alone!
We've been asked to testify at Councilwoman Maria Sanchez' bill on the Use and Occupancy Tax, which would possibly generate $30M. Hearing on Friday, May 17th at 9:30am. We should fill Room 400. Council members must understand that they will be held accountable if they don't support the District's request.

Submitted by Denise E K Martin (not verified) on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 11:04.

Very excited to hear about your efforts. Our page, www.facebook.com/ImagineASchoolPhilly, has just "liked" your page.

I will add info about your hearing on Friday to our Page.

I co-administer the ImagineASchool Page, www.facebook.com/ImagineASchoolPhilly. Feel free to check us out! We have over 200 "likes" and aim to be a hub for this school (de)funding effort. According to the Facebook adminstrator statistics, so far 6 of our posts have had a reach of over 1000 people. Most of these posts are giving information about contacting representatives, but they are also giving relevant news about cuts, the student protests, etc. It does sound like the city council has been hearing from us, by amplifying the Greenfield/McCall campaign of planning calls to 3 different council offices each day. On Friday the thrust of our calls switched to state offices, and we will continue to organize efforts to put pressure on different offices as needed.

Also, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) are planning weekly conference calls to organize around advancing the school funding Issue. Besides ImagineASchool, there are several groups who are all working on this issue. These calls will be a great opportunity to collaborate with other organizations and concerned citizens. We need to better coordinate our efforts and so as to best make our case to the City Council.

We only have five or six weeks. The City Council needs to pass the budget by the end of June, and as Shanee Garner of PCCY states, "At this point it's not clear whether the budget they pass in late June will include the $60 million requested by the Philadelphia School District. Together we need to build the community and public support necessary for Council to make this critical additional investment in our schools."

Please join the first conference call Wednesday, May 15th at noon, and feel free to extend the invitation to others.
1-888-809-4012
Passcode: 5635848

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 19:24.

Why isn't anyone calling for property tax dead beats to pay up? Nutter and Hite have said NOTHING! There is $500 MILLION owed to the city. City Council needs to call Nutter on it and start collecting what is due. Why should I pay - and pay my gas bill - if others pay nothing?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 04:16.

This is the Philly machines at its finest.

There are more voters getting free natural gas from the PGW racket than their are children in public schools.

Looking in u city, there are plenty of 20 year + deadbeats in nice houses, protected by our council person.

But we can never question the machines priorities. Only ever higher taxes.

Submitted by Denise E K Martin (not verified) on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 12:09.

It is being addressed, though my sense is that leaders are pretty pessimistic about getting anywhere with it. It will cost $40M to really go after tax delinquents, but they stand to collect billions.

http://articles.philly.com/2013-03-14/news/37685501_1_tax-collection-tax...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 00:28.

It costs $40 million and takes years by design. Only in Philly is such a level of incompetence normal.

You have a group of people working for the city who are grossly incompetent. Every level from management down. They can't even execute the simplest tasks of government, collecting property taxes.

But Instead of firing anyone ever, we just hire a whole new department of employees. Union work rules. The slugs get to hang out until their pension vests. They can't even be reassigned.

This is how you lose 500k citizens while actually increasing the size of the public sector and reducing its effectiveness. This cancer is why there is no money for schools despite the highest city taxes in the us.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 14:58.

Because most of the big time "deadbeats" are connected if not council members themselves. It's big city politics at its worst. Kenny "I gots mines" Gamble has been slick, rick in South Philly for 30 years, playing both sides of the same hand while lying to anybody he needs to lie to. He's a microcosm of why those monies will NEVER be paid and NEVER really be chased in any real way. Vincent Hughes---a top flight guy---must be sick going to Harrisburg with those puppets. He's likely wearing a mask of some sort.

Submitted by Hillary (not verified) on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 19:32.

I would also add that parents in some of the often marginalized neighborhoods are making a powerful movement!
I think that once parents have the information, they will act. We have had fantastic parent activism really begin to bubble the past couple weeks. All you need is one parent to take the reins and get the process going!
It's been an amazing thing to witness. I don't think we should sell our parents short and say they won't show up!

Check out some photos from their action today. They also invited (and she attended) Maria Quinones-Sanchez!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aldianews/sets/72157633465381486/

Submitted by Denise E K Martin (not verified) on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 12:59.

Thanks for the link! I reposted it on www.facebook.com/ImagineASchoolPhilly. We would love to collaborate with these folks too; do you have any contact information for the coordinators of their efforts?

Submitted by Education Grad ... on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 20:51.

"But don’t mistake our lack of chanting on Broad Street for silence."

I can't help but see the irony/coincidence in Broad. The School District of Philadelphia's headquarters are on Broad Street and Dr. Hite is a Broad Academy graduate. I know, I know, the two Broads are pronounced differently, but I read the above statement and it just struck me, the irony and coincidence of Broad Street and Eli Broad. But I digress....

That said, I'm glad to hear that there is mobilization happening.

What does disappoint me is that there is not more vocal opposition from schools in lower-income and "inner city" neighborhoods. These communities have the most to lose when it comes to budget cuts and corporate school reform. Many families in the lower income neighborhoods cannot afford to move out of the city whereas many families in more affluent neighborhoods---with schools like Meredith, Penn Alexander, Bache-Martin, Comly, J.S. Jenks---can afford to move.

Right now in our country, a good education is the best "way out" of poverty for children from poor families. Education is what will enable them to be able to support a family and have better job opportunities. A school staffed with just a principal and teachers will struggle to provide a high quality education in a public school, especially a public school in Philadelphia. This is not the fault of the principal and teachers at all. Rather, it's an indicator of the team-effort that a high-quality education requires---support staff, administration, and instructional staff.

There's a great post called "Poverty and student achievement: Are we comparing the wrong groups?" by Robert Bligh at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/09/poverty-a... about parental involvement and children who live in poverty. What has happened is that many (but not all) of the more involved, proactive, "with it," parents and caregivers who live in poverty have put their children in charter schools, private, or parochial schools. This leaves a higher concentration of the parents who are less involved and more needy kids in the neighborhood schools.

Also, some in-school factors matter. A school like Bayard Taylor is a high poverty school. However, they have, by all accounts, a great principal and a dedicated, stable teaching staff. They in turn have more parental involvement and most kids who live in the neighborhood attend Taylor. It's a true neighborhood school. I could see this at the school closing hearings because Taylor had a strong showing and also had strong support from outside partners.

I am a member of PFT but I am also a big critic of PFT. I probably won't have a job in the District next year because I have no seniority and I'm looking elsewhere because I see that there is no future teaching in the District. That said, people who care about public education and public schools in our city need to put their criticisms aside and MOBILIZE BEHIND THE PFT. Why? Because PFT has the clout and the money and the impact. PCAPS is great too.

The Bait and Switch of School Reform by David Sirota is a great article about corporate school reform and why the corporate reformers are targeting unions: http://www.salon.com/2011/09/12/reformmoney/.

There needs to be ENORMOUS public pressure, which will generate media attention nationally, which will compel through public pressure, shame, or God knows what to make the situation change.

Education Grad Student

Submitted by Eileen Duffey (not verified) on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 21:31.

Ed Grad,
I agree with much of what you say. And I have a great deal of respect for your ongoing interest in this topic.
One thing I am surprised by is YOURf surprise at the lack of response from our lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. If the premise of education is that is is going to be a "way out" of poverty for all, then I think this is the elephant in the room that we dare not discuss. Not all are going to rise to the top in this society. Even fewer will rise to the top in an educational system dominates by corporate reformers. When I look at the daily pressures heaped on those living at the margins, I find myself humbled by their grace under stress that would do me in.
I am sure that teachers who are busting their butts to work with children "left behind" in our remaining neighborhood schools know this all too well. For this reason it is very sad when the like of committed teachers like Lindback winner Catherine Michini are yanked from a beloved school like Germantown HS partially on the basis of the students being unable to score well on standardized tests.

Shockingly, the tide may be turning. Even our very own Paul Vallals seems willing to admit the failure of the message of education reformers.
see this article and read the comments:

http://www.networkforpubliceducation.com/news/alone-among-policy-heavywe...

Submitted by Education Grad ... on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 22:08.

Eileen,

I am very aware of the elephant in the room, and that's why I started the statement about education being a way out with "Right now in our country." Our nation needs to do much more for children and families living in poverty. Education is only part of the answer. At this current time, however, there is not political will to fund schools equitably. School funding should be redistributed much more than it already is...however, this would be an extremely unpopular move politically, especially among parents of children living in more affluent localities which have the local tax base to provide well-funded public schools.

The rhetoric of many school reformers is to focus on hard work, discipline, grit, and so on as solutions to overcoming the "achievement gap," without explicitly acknowledging the roles that socioeconomic status, poverty, lack of equitable funding, among others, play in various facets of education.

EGS

Submitted by tom-104 on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 19:06.

I totally disagree that parents of low-income families have not been fighting this. I went to almost all of the meetings on school closings. They were well attended, sometimes with overflow crowds. The parents were articulate and passionate about not wanting their schools closed. Did you see how they fought the closing of Germantown High School??

The SRC meeting where the official announcement was made about which school would be closed, where parents, teachers, and students spent several hours pleading for their schools, only to have an "off with their heads" heartless motion adopted by SRC at the end of the meeting; was like watching a Greek tragedy.

You can watch many of the meetings here (although the school closing SRC meeting isn't posted - no comment)
http://tinyurl.com/cowx2ur

To say they don't care is to show a lack of understanding of the daily struggles to make ends meet low income families are having.

As to the coincidence of the name Broad Street and Broad Foundation, Arlene Ackerman was very aware of this. While she was Superintendent she had a blog on the School District website called The Broad Report. It was only after it came out that she was on the Board of the Broad Foundation while she was Superintendent of the Philadelphia School District that you could see what a chuckle she must have had about that!

And if you want to see what a fighting union looks like, look at Chicago!

http://tinyurl.com/c98fml8

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 20:42.

Tom 104-------And if you want to see what a piece of crap, wimpy, non union looks like, look at The PFT. But don't look too long or you'll be sick.

Submitted by Education Grad ... on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 23:47.

Tom,

Thanks for the information about the Broad connections.

Of course there was strong opposition to school closings as a whole, but the opposition was inconsistent from school to school. The opposition fell on a continuum, with some schools having very strong opposition, others with medium opposition, and others with weak opposition.

From watching school closings meetings and seeing news coverage of the closings this year and last year, there was very little opposition to Drew closing, but strong, organized opposition to closing Sheppard. There was strong, organized opposition to closing Bayard Taylor, L. P. Hill, Strawberry Mansion, M. H. Stanton, and University City, among others, but less opposition to closing schools such as Reynolds, Leidy, and Vaux. If I remember correctly, there was very little opposition to closing Shaw at SRC and regional closings meetings.

There were/are large numbers of low-income families with children attending all of the aforementioned schools. (Most of the aforementioned schools had/have 90%+ economically disadvantaged students.) Of course SES plays a factor in familial involvement and opposition to involvement in opposing a proposed closure, but the variation in the strength of opposition to a school closing indicates that there are other factors at play besides just SES or income.

One could argue that the strongest opposition to closing any of the schools came from those opposing the closure of Germantown HS. There was very strong collaboration among students, parents, community institutions, legislators, and the alumni association, as well as the support of Fulton School, which makes sense given the proximity of the two schools. Strawberry Mansion and University City had strong opposition, but not as strong as Germantown's (although, to be fair, Germantown has the advantage of existing for much longer than those two schools). And the opposition to closing Vaux was the weakest of these four comprehensive high schools.

The question is, Why is the level of community and family involvement versus closings so variable from school to school?

EGS

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 08:03.

"The question is, why is the level of community and family involvement versus closings so variable from school to school?"

I would say the answer lies in the variability of LEADERSHIP, VISION, AND WILL.

Think Chicago teachers vs. PFT.

Another good question:
Why was Germantown High School slated for closure in spite of the collaboration among students, parents, community institutions, legislators, and the alumni association as well as offering a viable plan with neighboring Fulton School?

The answer may involve timing with regard to the bigger picture of the education "reform" movement. The reason Germantown High failed in spite of all of the above is that we hadn't yet reached Malcolm Gladwell's "tipping point". All the collaborating players in the privatizing game (governor,SRC, mayor, "school partnership, William Penn Foundation, Walton Foundation, Broad, Gates. etc.) seemed to be on the same page. It seemed as if they were winning.

Today, it seems that we are moving closer towards the tipping point. "Dramatic change tips the scale and it can happen all at once."

The education reform movement is simply not sustainable, in spite of all the collaborations and partnerships. Here is a clue: they've simply run these three seemingly positive words- sustainable, collaboration, and partnerships- into the ground!!! One now cringes whenever one hears them with regard to education.

Parents, students, and community members are waking up. Politicians and their minions are uncomfortably looking around...

NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTION TO SAVE OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS!!!

(wikipedia has a nice explanation of the tipping point for those not familiar- a worthy reminder not to give up)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 10:25.

The decision on which schools to close was very arbitrary. Arguments to keep schools open were used to close other schools. Why was Lamberton HS closed while SLA will expand in the same neighborhood? Why is a new special admit/ magnet school being opened ("Sustainability Workshop") while other schools closed? The decisions seems to be in the hands of the Phila. School Partnership. The PSP has decided which schools get money and which open. It is an organization whose primary goal is the privatization of education. Anyone drinking at the money well of Philadelphia School Partnership is drinking with the devil of public education. Shame on so called progressives who take the Partnerships money and support their slash and burn policies. You can gloat about your school getting Partnership funding while allowing other schools to be destroyed.

Submitted by Education Grad ... on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 18:21.

I totally agree that the decision of which schools to close was arbitrary. Here are examples:

- Commissioner Dworetzky raised the point that Peirce was slated for closure in order to increase enrollment at Kenderton.

- Peirce was spared. Commissioner Peirce's granddaughter attends Peirce and she didn't recuse herself from the vote.

- The North Philadelphia proposal that Quibila Divine (Commissiner Peirce's sister) authored did not truthfully represent who actually supported the proposal. Also, this proposal suggested the closure of M. H. Stanton.

EGS

Submitted by K.R. Luebbert on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 20:44.

You mean Commissioner Simms, I believe.

Submitted by Education Grad ... on Mon, 05/13/2013 - 00:06.

K. R.,

Thank you for the correction. Yes I did mean Commissioner Simms. I mixed up Simms and Peirce.

EGS

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/13/2013 - 15:23.

Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that Drew--your example of a school that didn't raise a stink--served a homeless shelter as well as many ELL students. To state the obvious, families with a housing crisis are probably going to face significant challenges in organizing, and also might not think of their kids' current school as "their" school. ELL families might face language barriers to organizing. I think it is very hard to answer your final question--"Why is the level of community and family involvement versus closings so variable from school to school?" without looking at the situation very, very closely.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 14:34.

Eileen----Vallas will go where the money is. He has NO scruples and even his once defenders, admit that. He has an uphill climb to get to the bottom as they say in South Philly. Trust NOTHING he says, and you'll be better off.

Submitted by AMY (not verified) on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 09:40.

EDUCATION must be the FIRST PRIORITY and must be the main concern for all CITIZENS of our country... No matter what! Divert all the funds to support our young people who are the future of our country. Helping and donating surplus of funds to other countries is a good thing BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE of our students...It is high time our city, state and federal and the white house find a solution NATIONALLY how to fund schools and not have "Budget Crisis" every year.It is a shame that our children of the RICHEST country have to be educated with no supports. Come on... Wake up... if this is happening to Philadelphia it will happen to other school districts sooner or later...

Submitted by tom-104 on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 13:02.

Here is the place to start!

http://tinyurl.com/mg8y8

An invading army could not do a better job of destroying our society. At this point, all of this money is being spent to protect what?

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 21:59.

Tom 104----More and more, the rich are exploiting their power to create a Caste System here. So far, most "regular" folks, either don't see it or are too beaten down to resist. At some point soon, that better change in a big way. All this austerity, busting unions and "pension reform" are symptoms of that avalanche coming our way. Yes, it is manufactured but the results, so far, are real.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 21:35.

Amy----This "crisis' across our nation is largely manufactured. We remain the strongest and richest country in the history of the world. The focus of this crisis is on the inner cities where the poor live. The rich will always be able to have their kids educated. The PEOPLE need to demand this to stop or it won't. The basic tenets of this country will be trashed if the super rich have their way. That isn't new but the elections of 2010 ushered in cretins like Corbett who are puppets of the shot callers pulling their strings. People of conscience need to stand up and fight this. When the Middle Class and the Poor are abused while the rich just get richer at their expense, we all better be worried about our country's future.

Submitted by AMY (not verified) on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 22:05.

Joe,
You are right! In other countries where "Education"is the first priority, I don't hear that funds are being cut down for education..... There should be "NATIONWIDE" student funding formula!

Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 10:54.

We are geraing up to get $120 million from the state. Now how likely is that?

In my neck of the woods districts are passing real budgets that deal with facts. They are laying off teachers for the lack of 1-3 million. We are asking for $120 million. The proposed Corbett budget asks for 80 million to increase aid to all 550 school districts in Pennsylvania.

How likely is it that Philadelphia gets one and half times the increase proposed for the whole state?

OK maybe the state comes up with an extra 2 million for each of the other districts plus gives Philly $120 million. That would save a lot of suburban layoffs. But since there are 550 districts out there it would cost more than a billion dollars.

How likely is it that Corbett after cutting over a billion suddenly raises education spending by a billion dollars?? I will bet my current huge paycheck it does not happen (not the 25% reduced one of September).

The state was counting on tax revenues increasing this year by about 225 million. They are up only about 75 million with one month to go.

Corbett is counting on selling the liquor stores and letting supermarkets sell beer and wine. That is going to flounder on the opposition of the beer distributors who are the worlds worse merchants but give big big bucks to state legislators. So do not look for six packs at walmart anytime soon.

Corbett's other proposal is to lower the future payments to state and teacher pension and screw younger workers. Now I am all for screwing the under 30 set. Hell I am on this sinking ship and I am cool with pulling up the lines before the youngsters climb aboard and sink the ship quicker. But there are many people who somehow feel this is unfair and there are constitutional problems with cutting pensions that people rely upon. Yes contrary to the way the Commonwealth operates and what Corbett believes there is a Constitution in PA.

So I think it is rank fantasy to think the state comes up with anything more than a token increase.

Anyone want to bet their massive current district paycheck that the State comes through with $120 million??

I will give you any odds you want.

Submitted by Long-time resident (not verified) on Tue, 05/14/2013 - 22:03.

It's all about money. None of the adults responsible for funding or carrying out education really care. How many teachers and administrators actually put their own children in Philadelphia's public schools? A free appropriate public education is an ideal but not a reality. In Philadelphia, they are taking more of our money out of our families through increased property taxes and taking away any chance of a decent education.

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

          

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

 

Philly Ed Feed

Recent Comments

Top

Public School Notebook

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

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