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State has paid millions to charter schools since SRC suspended the code

by Dale Mezzacappa on Dec 13 2013 Posted in Latest news

The Pennsylvania Department of Education revealed today that it has directly paid more than $3.7 million in disputed per pupil allotments to six Philadelphia charter schools this fall. That's $3.7 million in expected state aid that the School District won't be receiving.

The state's payments to charters appear to defy an August decison of the School Reform Commission that suspended the part of the school code requiring the state to make such payments when a charter and a district disagree about how much the district should pay them. 

The SRC action was designed to allow the District to control charter growth -- to impose enrollment caps -- so that it could plan financially. But the issue of whether the District can limit a charter's enrollment has long been the object of legal and political wrangling between the Philadelphia District and its charters.

When the state pays charters directly in a dispute over students, it withholds an equal amount from its subsidy to the chartering district. Districts pay charter schools on a per pupil basis, and Philadelphia was anticipating paying $675 million to charters this year, not counting transportation costs.

According to a spreadsheet obtained from PDE, the state has directly paid more than $5.1 million to 10 charters this year because of disputed enrollment numbers. Nearly $1 million of that was to reconcile underpayments from the 2012-13 school year, and $516,000 was paid in July and August to Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter, which has been the most aggressive in seeking direct payments in disputes with the District. Palmer has taken the District to court and has prevailed in most legal rulings in the ongoing case.

The SRC suspended the code on Aug. 15.

But more than $3.7 million was paid out after the suspension to six charter schools: KIPP Philadelphia, Richard Allen, Walter Palmer, Discovery, Solomon (which closed in October), and Delaware Valley Charter High School.

The August SRC resolution reads: "suspension of the requirements of these provisions will eliminate the secretary's duty to withhold money from the School District's basic subsidies and pay the amount to charter schools solely on the unilateral request from the charter school and will allow the School District to responsibly manage its budget by controlling charter school enrollment growth."

But a statement from PDE spokesperson Tim Eller said that the state is still obligated to make the payments.

"The Charter School Law and Commonwealth Court decisions require the department to withhold payments due to a school district when a charter school presents to the department documentation of an underpayment, irrespective of the reason for the dispute," the statement said. "The department has complied with its duty under the Charter School Law and Commonwealth Court decisions. The department will respond to any objection filed by a school district by adjudicating the matter between the two entities." 

In October, invoking the SRC's powers, Deputy Superintendent Paul Kihn sent letters to charters that had refused to sign agreements with enrollment caps. Kihn warned the charters not to seek direct payments from the state, saying that if they did so, they risked having the District take action against them, which could include proceedings to revoke their charters.

"Failure of your Charter School to bring itself into compliance by December 15, 2013, shall be grounds for suspension, nonrenewal or revocation by the SRC of the purported charter on which that Charter School relies," the letter says.

As of early November, 19 charters had not reached agreements with the District. Six of them are overenrolled by the District's accounting, spokesman Fernando Gallard said at the time.

One of the charters that received payments, Discovery, had been threatened with revocation of its charter by the District before the code suspension because it enrolled more students than its cap allowed. In June, when Discovery broke ground for a new building, officials said that it reached an agreement to pay back the District more than $400,000. But in October and November, it received nearly $354,000 directly from PDE.

This year, Palmer has received the most money, more than $2.2 million.

Gallard said last week that the District, which has struggled to close a $304 million budget gap by cutting thousands of staff positions and reducing services, will pay an additional $12 million to $15 million to charter schools this year because of higher than expected enrollment in them. It is unclear how much of that is because of charter students in excess of any caps.

KIPP CEO Marc Mannella said that the payments to his school -- more than $616,000 -- were for students in grades 3 and 12 that the school was already educating. KIPP typically adds a grade each year. He said that the SRC in July approved its right to add those grades to its elementary and high school, but did not increase its enrollment allotment. The District has flatly declined to increase existing enrollment caps for charters in recent months.

"We invoiced the state for those funds, as we are currently educating these students, and we were happy to learn today that the state has approved the payment of these funds so we can continue to do this work," Mannella said. 

Gallard said Friday that Kihn would have more to say about the charters' responses to his letters and any further action that the District plans early next week. 

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Comments (48)

Submitted by Annonym (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 20:58.

Typical arrogance by KIPP's Manella and Walter Palmer's Walter Palmer (yes, named the school for himself.) Shame!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 21:17.

Manella is the paragon of arrogance. Incredibly the School District is letting KIPP use space at the old Turner school building for one of their schools. District leadership should cancel that agreement immediately and throw those crooks out.

Submitted by Annonym (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 23:00.

Manella was the one who attempted to take over Wilson Elementary School. KIPP wanted to open a kindergarten with far more students than other West Philly kindergartens. KIPP also has added grades without permission. KIPP was going to buy a building but broke the contract when it saw more desirable buildings opening. KIPP is a business - a big business. It operates for KIPP and its TFA affiliates / founders - not the common good. (KIPP is also notorious for kicking out students who don't "fit" with their model.)

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 17:58.

The School District is in on the hook up too. Can you say, Quid Pro Quo??

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 21:41.

Now everyone knows that the issue of whether the SRC can constitutionally suspend any portion of the School Code is a legal issue crying out to be litigated.

However, I come down on the SRC's side on this one as the local school board should have the power and legal authority to regulate charter school growth for the "best interests of all of the schoolchildren" and "the common good."

I give my highest props to Mr. Kihn and the SRC on this one.

In my mind we should be governing our supposedly public schools for "the best interests of the children and their communities," and not for the best interests of those who want to run charter schools for whatever their purposes may be.

That does not deny our responsibility to fully fund charter schools who are in operation for the right reasons and do it in the right manner.

What this shows is a "crucial flaw" in the charter school law which can easily be remedied by the General Assembly and the next Governor by reforming the Charter School Law in a positive and ethical way.

Watch how much precious money is wasted on litigation.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 04:51.

I agree with you Rich. This definitely demonstrates that the SRC does not have unilateral power to suspend parts of the PA School Code. I just wonder if the state will be pro code when it comes to our teacher contract.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 09:34.

So far both the Commonwealth Court and the PA Supreme Court have read the Charter School Law in a favorable light to charter school autonomy and issued opinions which are very favorable to them.

The Department of Education will not be pro code in respect to the PFT contract, and if the SRC does officially try to impose terms, the court battles will be interesting. Freedom of contract is a constitutional issue and so is a law which is written in a discriminatory manner and takes away the constitutional rights of a limited segment of the state's population -- Act 46.

How the courts rule will be very interesting.

The bottom line is that this is "all so ridiculous" and our PA General Assembly and Governors created this mess and they need to reform the law to remedy the absurdities that both laws have created.

Elections Matter.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 09:34.

Rich---The bottom line is this is another example of abuse and corruption, paying charters money for which they are clearly not entitled and, of course, done with a wink and a nod. Until WE demand justice, we won't receive it, not just from Mutter, Corbett and The SRC, but also from Obama and The Dems.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 09:56.

You are so very correct and you are one of the deepest thinkers in our community about "all of this."

That is the shame of it all. I have made my position clear to the SRC and Dr. Hite when I addressed them in September at an SRC meeting.

Every charter school leader and every school district leader has a "moral and ethical" responsibility to act in the best interests of the "common good" of all school children and their community. Instead, I see so many scurrying around to position themselves to exploit the situation for their own monetary gain and self interests.

I have said this to Dr. Hite and I will say this again right here for everyone to see -- There is no "I" in TEAM."

We are supposed to be on the same TEAM serving children. Clearly some of us are not on The TEAM and are not TEAM players.

I have no respect for anyone who puts their own self interests above those of "all of the children" and act in a manner which they know "hurts children in other schools" in Philadelphia.

There, Migliore said it and Migliore puts his name and his integrity behind everything he says.

Perhaps you could put it in more colorful words as is your artful forte.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 13:06.

Rich-----Thanks for the undeserved compliments and I'll take them. I don't know much but I know about scumbags and especially scumbag politicians. This is ALL just a money grab for the rich and their torpedoes, the crooked pols and the charter operators. The PEOPLE better wake up or they'll turn back the clocks on all workers and make the poor, hopelessly so. Obama has been a total sell out and disgrace but if he strolled into Philly tomorrow, huge crowds would still fall for his vaudeville act. I voted for him twice though the second time with all my fingers and toes crossed with a clothespin on my nose.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 17:02.

Can we really blame the charter operators? Many of them are former SDP teachers and administrators who are providing children with the education they could not within the SDP. I personally know of 3 former SDP educators who could not get administrator appointments within the SDP because of cronyism, nepotism and good old SDP politics. They left and became administrators at charters and their schools are doing well under their leadership. I recently obtained my national board certification and all 3 want me at their schools and I wouldn't have to guess about my national board bonus or rely on a union to negoigiate for me. As with all things there are pros and cons. My highest salary offer from the 3 was still $15,000 less then what I currently make. But if you calculate that 13% cut its neck to neck with the district. In addittion I wouldn't have to look for supplies and resources to teach my students. Imagine that, enough textbooks to go around. The resources in all 3 of these charters had my mouth agape. They are pleasant bright engaging learning environments. I work in an antiquated dungeon & spent 4 days cleaning out my classroom in August and continually perform maintenance duties. I'm starting to think that the SDP is the Titanic. I'm committed to my students and I love to teach but the conditions in the SDP make even the most dedicated educator question the sanity of walking into madness every day. The lack of textbooks for all students-- madness. The condition of the school buildings--madness. The expectation that as an educator you fix and take care of all is also madness. Dr. Hite expecting sacrifice after sacrifice and for what? To take home 13% less, to be tossed in assignments as forced transfers & just the overall expectations put upon us as educators time & time again is madness. I'm not angry at the charter operators at all but I'm starting to think that those who left the SDP got a memo that the rest of us missed.

Submitted by tom-104 on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 19:03.

Everyone has to make their own decision, but you should look beyond your own situation and see the big picture. This disparity in the economics between the public schools and the charters is created by design. Public schools have been starved of resources for years and money put into charters. They are setting us up to break the union. That parity you are talking about between the salary of public schools and charters if the public schools have a 13% pay cut-- the salaries will continue to go down for everybody because there will be no union (or one in name only) to fight it. This is why charters were created.

The biggest losers will be the next generation. They are going to be in inferior schools and graduate to low paying job.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 18:28.

Somehow, you have completely missed the whole point of Democracy in a Democratic Society. Charters are dictators and if you work for them, you are a semi primate serf at best. You have no rights, no hope and no recourse. The operator can fire you for no reason and you have no recourse. He can dictate the terms to you about all aspects of your life even remotely connected to employment and you have no recourse. Do yourself a favor and READ about Life before Unions in the good, ole U.S. of A. Sit down before reading so you don't fall down. Public Schools are essential to democracy;this isn't about you or me. It's far larger than that. This isn't North Korea. ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS must be funded appropriately for The American Dream to be REAL for all its people.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 18:39.

I agree with you Joe but the PFT is no one's Teamsters and that's the problem.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 20:18.

It is not an accurate comparison to look at work life pre-unions and post unions simply based upon whether or not one works in a union shop, today. Unions have provided many wins for this country, but like everything, they must adapt with times. Today, there are work laws and regulations that did not exist many years ago. These protections are afforded to all employees in large part by the gains made by unions. To say that employees who work in charters or any employee in the United States not currently in a union has no protections is simply false.

You should also consider that in many aspects, the heavy handed and antiquated methodologies employed by unions are reminiscent of fat cat employers of the early 20th century. PFT is fighting to keep the status quo and to protect jobs/membership to maintain the political power they have accumulated. This power is not being used for the rank and file teacher. Take a look at Jerry's salary and the salaries of top union officials who never come near a classroom. They are cut from the same cloth as the charter operators who are in for all of the wrong reasons. There are a very few charter operators who have big influence in the School District and this city. They are not at odds with union leadership, but are actually cutting deals with them. Have you ever wondered how union leadership is working to gain charter membership, while at the same time fighting to reduce charter funding? Have you ever wondered why the union has come out against independent charter expansion, but has left the Renaissance program alone? This game is more sophisticated than you can imagine and while you simply rage against anyone you're told to by your union bosses, your futures are being sold away. Solidarity?

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 20:41.

Land of make believe comments. Have another one on me, actually on you.

Submitted by tom-104 on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 21:21.

I agree with you that the union leadership is by and large not representing the membership anymore.

I do not agree that there are protections in the law today for all workers. These are quickly disappearing.

Also, to say the rank and file are over protected by the union is out of touch. Ask anyone who has filled a grievance in the last few years. I doubt new teachers even now what they are.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 23:00.

A grievance? Filing a grievance with the PFT is a joke. They pretend to be all about it ,saying they are going file class action grievances regarding leveling, restoring teachers improperly, etc.,yet those and other grievances with the PFT go absolutely nowhere. I know members who had solid cases (and would have won) ,however,the union screwed them over by not fully executing the grievance.
No wonder the District craps on the leaders and members of the PFT.
Can anyone tell me a grievance the PFT took to abitration recently and won or just even took that far?
A hearing with a District hearing officer(before abitration) is not won on the membes behalf since the SDP that officer so they rule in the District favor mostly all the time.End of grievance since PFT officers won't go any further.
They are a bunch of bs and fos.
Jordan needs to retire or resign .

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 23:23.

The union is a joke. Our contract is non existent. Right now on the SDP website they are posting positions for "ESOL tutors" who will work during the school day up to 30 hours and make....... Drumroll Please--- $12 an hour without any benefits. That's a blatant contract violation and a disgrace. Of course that position is hidden under part time jobs but its clear as day. The SDP is finding yet another way to outsource all of our jobs. The masses sat back and were quiet when over 2,500 Head Start seats were outsourced to private providers. That meant that legions of Head Start teachers lost their jobs. To work with a district partner would mean making between $12-$15 an hour as certified teachers. There are actually more non school district sites running early childhood programs then in district schools. Look at the "partners" list on the early childhood website. I provide this information because Head Start and ESOL are both federally funded & the SDP has outsourced jobs in both programs in effort to save money & the mighty PFT is doing exactly what they do best.... nothing. As for grievances I was told last Spring by a PFT information officer that just because its in black & white doesn't mean its grievable. As we all know the contract provisions for forced transfers were not followed at all and the Union turned a blind eye. So I ask now what will the PFT do about the SDP outsourcing ESOL teacher jobs, not a damn thing.

Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 22:05.

The growth of economic inequality has coincided with the decline of unions. Workers, today as in the past need strong unions that will fight both on the job and politically for their interests.

As for charter school teachers as "at will" employees that have few rights and no power.   When they do try to organize the operators use public money to hire lawyers to stall union drives and then get rid of union supporters at the end of the year.   

The PFT, along with other education advocates, should oppose the current way charter schools are funded and monitored, and, for the record, the PFT doesn't organize charters, the parent AFT does.

To compare union leaders with charter operators ignores the fact that unions are democratic organizations.   Yes, there are problems with bureaucracy, and I agree that union leaders should not be paid high salaries, but they are qualitatively different.   If they weren't the charter operators and the right wing politicians wouldn't be working so hard to get rid of them.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 22:56.

Exactamundo !!

Submitted by linda (not verified) on Mon, 12/16/2013 - 10:21.

I think that if the money were right, you would have left and would be teaching in a charter school.
In that the the proposed 13% cut has not happened, and even though you have some clear feelings about the union, you are staying in your school, enjoying your benefits and dealing with the lack of supplies like the rest of us.

Those who make the jump into charter are usually school admins who wanted positions that they clearly could see would not happen in the SDP or who were given the chance to work in a SDP school that is worse off than the schools where they were.

Come back and comment when you actually leave for this EDEN called CHARTER SCHOOL and tell us all how happy you are.
Linda K.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/16/2013 - 13:10.

As a national board certified teacher I have many options across the country. Oftentimes SDP educators are very myopic. I am in no way implying that a charter would be Eden but I can state with full certainty that the SDP is definitely closer to hell for its students and educators. I've been a committed educator in the heart of North Philly for over a decade. I've earned my stripes so my statements were not made out of naïveté but based in the reality of what is. SDP educators go above and beyond each and every day. I consider this a prime time for all SDP educators to consider all of their options.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/16/2013 - 14:16.

Well said. I agree with you 100%.

Submitted by linda (not verified) on Mon, 12/16/2013 - 18:04.

I am glad that you made the cut for national board...it is not easy and you rose to the challenge. However, for whatever personal reasons [and you are not obligated to share any of your persoanl business here] you are working and continue to work in North Philly for the SDP.

I left SW one year before my school closed and now am working in Juniata Park area so we both know that neither of us is working anywhere near heaven save for the success we get with those children who succeed.

No one is denoucing your stripes, I am just saying to you what I said to my coworkers who complained about how the school [that I left the year before it was closed by the SDP] was the pits from the schoo admin on down to the kids,
My words are " you stay until you can no longer stay or until you are forced out."

I say, if you really are not happy and can AFFORD it, change. If you can not change then find another outlet where you feel you can still work for the SDP and get satisfaction educationally or helping others.

Otherwise the NOTEBOOK has done its job having provided an outlet for you to share your frustrations about the SDP and your wish to go elsewhere even though you know that you are not going to do it....be it your years in the SDP, age, years before retirement, or the bills you have to pay in addition to the supplies you probably buy in order to do your job.

Consider your options and then if you do move, share with the rest who may be in your same spot....offer encouragement.
I for one have no intentions of movinf out of the SDP unless a golden opportunity drops out of the sky.

I can work with what I have and I do enjoy the kids I teach. It is the grown ups who get on my nerves with their policies and dumb ideas about education and those same folks have not taught a wink.

Linda K.
staying in the SDP and working towards change

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 11:38.

Rich was against the law before he was for it!!!

Submitted by Education Grad ... on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 20:58.

Rich,

You are very right. For whatever reason, the SRC and District administration appear to be playing hardball with the charter schools.

As teachers, we are supposed to use positive behavioral interventions and supports. However, in some situations, and with some students, PBIS don't work and a more punitive action is necessary.

This same analogy applies to charter schools. The District has tried to work with charter schools, but some of them want to be defiant and disruptive, just as some students do. They will pout and complain when they don’t get their way, and for some of them, will be very sneaky and ask for money by going behind the back of the District. Charter schools like Discovery, KIPP, and Walter Palmer have no regard for the common good. They are self-interested entities.

You also make a very important point: “That does not deny our responsibility to fully fund charter schools who are in operation for the right reasons and do it in the right manner.” Schools like Sankofa Freedom Academy CS, Folk Arts and Treasures CS, Belmont Academy and Belmont CSs, and some others, have good histories of honest operation.

It’s sickening that the Commonwealth will cooperate with these charter schools who don’t play by the rules. There's less money for District schools which by and large serve the neediest students. I hope that the District and SRC make an example of some of these defiant charter schools and shut them down.

EGS

Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 22:19.

The District, from the formation of Great Schools Compact, has been championing school choice and charters, and now that it is apparent that the charter operators and PSP are devouring the whole meal and are intent on just leaving scraps for the District, they want to rein in the charters.   The SRC, appointed as it is by Corbett and Nutter, is poorly positioned to wage this figtht, but, yes, we should support them in this.   Unfortunately, as this article makes clear, the state intends to simply ignore them.   

Next year's election is key.   If we do not elect a Governor committed to reversing the current privatization and austerity polices, it's game over for public schools in Philadelphia.  We will look like New Orleans within a few short years.   Right now the only candidate who has taken a strong position for reining in the charters is John Hanger.   We should vote for him in the primary and continue to bring pressure on all the candidates to change state policy.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 21:49.

Charter schools will win because we have another selfish crook named CORBETT,who influences the PDE.
CORBETT is all for the wealthy and could careless about the average citizen,student,teacher, staff employee or public education in general. So he will do anything to screw all of them over.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 22:36.

So four people comment out of 10,000 union teachers? Going forward as planned. Laughable.

Submitted by linda (not verified) on Tue, 12/17/2013 - 08:59.

four or none....words get you only so far....look at yesterday's article about how Bright Hope Baprtist Church seems to have been snookered out of buiding a charter school by the larger TEMPLE U and a hotel....it s $$$$$ that drives education these days
Linda K

Submitted by Dave M (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 18:45.

http://dianeravitch.net/2013/12/12/breaking-news-court-declares-washingt...

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 10:25.

Thank you for pointing to Diane Ravitch's report on that very significant court ruling that the Washington State's charter school provisions are unconstitutional because it violates that state's constitutional requirement to fund public schools only and not privately managed charter schools.

It is a significant "landmark ruling" and it does have implications for Pennsylvania as our state Constitution similarly mandates only the funding of "public schools."

The Notebook should ask Diane for permission to post her article on this site. It is a really important Court decision and must be put on the table for all of us to read and think deeply about.

The importance of that ruling can not be understated.

Submitted by Dave M (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 10:39.

I totally agree with you. I've been scratching my head from the beginning asking the same question -- how does public tax money go to schools that are for profit and privately owned.

This is the beginning of the end -- for them. Charters will always be around but the free ride is coming to an end. It will take some time though but things will turn around.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 11:28.

One of the bullet points on the back cover of my book which I copyrighted back in 2007 stated:

"Democracy is the purification process for the ills that plague our schools -- the Constitution cannot be allowed to stop at the schoolhouse door."

Our system of checks and balances is part and parcel of the "imperative of democracy."

Submitted by Dave M (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 11:36.

What's the book?

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 12:01.

The book is "Whose School Is it? the Democratic Imperative for Our Schools."

It is on the law of school governance, the various models of school governance, and research on the best practices of school governance and leadership.

Google it. ( the entire title)

If you would like a copy, e-mail me directly. (rich@democracyineducation.com)

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 11:47.

Dave M.-------------On what evidence to date are you basing this turnaround?? Clearly, charters, for the very most part, are breaking federal laws 24/7 and have been for many years now. What is going to stop them in the future??

Submitted by Dave M (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 11:56.

I feel that the Courts (and I have faith in our Judiciary) will begin to get more involved and rule in favor of public education as increasingly the problems (greed, corruption, lack of oversight) come up more and more to the surface.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 12:00.

I hope you're right.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 12:08.

I think so, too.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 18:02.

The teachers union created this provision in the PA constitution in the 1960's to prevent any competition from Catholic schools. Maybe allow courts to order funding increases a la New Jersey.

You guys want to screw over the parents of 60,000 charter students here, you will watch that constitutional provision disappear as easily as it was inserted.

Submitted by tom-104 on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 19:42.

You just make things up to fit your ideology (and make threats)? It's in the Pa Constitution of 1874 when there was not a teachers union.

See Article III, Section 18

http://www.duq.edu/academics/schools/law/pa-constitution/texts-of-the-co...

Submitted by linda (not verified) on Tue, 12/17/2013 - 09:00.

and the Catholic schoos are in the same pit as the SDP
Linda K.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/14/2013 - 23:58.

Is PCAPS endorsing Hanger?

Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 00:33.

PCAPS is focusing on mobilizing voters around it's 5 point education platform and hopes to influence the candidates and push the debate to the left.   Many of the community based organizations in PCAPS cannot endorse candidates because of their non-profit status and the unions in the coalition will not necessairly endorse the same candidates in the primary.   In terms of Hanger I'm just expressing my personal view and not speaking for PCAPS.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 02:33.

yeah, the charters are the real problem. it's not the screwed funding formula. there's no money in pa for public schools. but wait, what about all that fund balance money? more than 3 billion dollars in fund reserves in school districts, while districts like philly have nothing.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/state/20131209_Pa__schools_an...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 12/15/2013 - 15:38.

Many members believe if the PFT leadership really fought on it's members behalf we would not locally have all the issues we do. I understand the climate nationwide on school reform but the reformers, administrators and politicians eyeballed Philadelphia District as they knew the officials at the PFT are weak, ineffective, and just grab the Crisco oil rolling over instead of putting up a solid, persistent fight.

More important, the PFT leaders do not work on members behalf anymore. If they did, they would strongly take on valid grievances, respond to members issues, treat them with respect, communicate to them and take action when the CBA is blatantly breached.

Let me say this as for the so-called grievances Jordan said he filed for all the violations,(leveling, improper restorations, appointments, and so on) there is no way in the world the District will give back pay, benefits, and retroactive seniority like the PFT say they are seeking. It's common sense, the SDP claims to have no money now and not going pay millions in grievances penalties-no way. The District will agree to do something minor for the withdrawal of the alleged grievances (filed by the PFT) and the PFT officers will say sure-screwing many members over and the SDP winning again. Reject that minor offer and this time execute all of the grievances.PFT prove a point, for once, we all know it's been a very long time since you have done that. But knowing the leaders of the PFT they will not. Citing excuse after excuse. They are so predicatable.The District knows this too, thus the compounding of problems and violations.

The PFT members need to take action now and get the leaders out of the PFT including Jordan, Harris, Phillips, Kempin, Dubin,etc.
They all seem to be drinking the same kool-Aid and study the same excuse script that's why the District violates the contract with no consequences. It is so disgusting.

For members who have not had to use the PFT, for an issue yet, wait until you do and you will see exactly what is being said about them is accurate.Wait until this summer when more schools are closed and Renaissance schools converted to private school operators - you may be a forced transfer or even laid off. The SDP will hire a new employee to put in your place with the PFT eyes closed or open and just let it go then tell you it's what the District needs or what can they do or we will file that throwaway "toilet paper" grievance --but nothing will actually be done for you.

Email PFT leaders and tell they to step aside immediately and give their members a chance before a total collapse of the PFT.The officers and staff of the PFT can go back to the classroom and see the real deal. I'm sure we will see retirements suddenly within the leadership since they forget what it's like to be in the schools teaching anymore and probably would not be able to cut it nowadays.
Just like lifelong politicians forget their constituents concerns after having the job for so many years.
Both groups become self-serving totally disregarding who they are supposed to be representing.

Email addressees below:
execoffice@pft.org (general PFT email)
jjordan@pft.org
lharris@pft.org
dphillips@pft.org
akempin@pft.org
jdubin@pft.org

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