This post from a former Philadelphia teacher activist, Bridget Finnegan
On the day before students return to classes in the City of Brotherly Love, I cannot stop thinking about my colleagues, former students, and friends in Philadelphia. Your fight is our fight. Our young people deserve safe, nurturing, engaging environments in which to learn and grow. Our teachers, administrators and staff deserve the same. The conditions under which you are told to provide quality education, that there is no room for excuses, is an unforgivable insult, an attack on your professionalism, a disregard for the needs of children, and an intentional effort to undermine our profession. To combat all of this, make sure to maintain solidarity so as to keep each other as uplifted in such dark times.
For those privy to the situation in Philadelphia, know that things are not all that different here. Here in Milwaukee your neighbor teacher has up to 50 students in each class he or she teaches. Can’t locate a ream of paper for copies. Is bringing home much less take-home pay than before while simultaneously feeling pressured to make up for budget deficits for basic materials with even more out-of-pocket purchases than in the past (and there were many in the past). Your public school teachers here in The Brew will see their rosters fluctuate all year long, especially after “3rd Friday” when so-called “choice” schools will expel “problem-students”, but KEEP THE FUNDING FOR SAID CHILD THAT IS ALLOCATED TO THE SCHOOLS WHEN ENROLLMENT IS CHECKED. While increasingly overwhelmed with high student per teacher rations, your teachers here are also increasingly insulted with micromanaging and condescending demands.
This is not a far-away issue, this is a nationwide call to save public education from corporate greed.