Full Funding Friday rally at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary
Ten weeks of Full Funding rallies at over sixty schools in every part of the city make one thing clear. We are winning the battle for hearts and minds. The blame game scripted by the SRC, the Mayor, Governor Corbett and their civic allies like the Philadelphia School Partnership aims at shifting the burden for the school crisis on to the unions and school employees. When faced with evidence of the District’s failures, whether it be hundreds of complaints about poor staffing or reports of mold infested buildings making children sick, they have one answer… it’s the union’s fault. If only teachers and support staff would take huge wage cuts and agree to work rules that would weaken their job security and erode their working conditions, all would be well.
The good news is that it’s not working, at least in Philadelphia’s working class neighborhoods. Today at Grover Washington Middle School in Olney was typical. Hundreds of middle schoolers with PFT signs lined up along Olney Ave. along with their teachers. As teachers and students chanted for full funding, passer by motorists honked and rolled down their windows to grab flyers. SEPTA buses opened their doors and TWU 234 members took leaflets to distribute to their co-workers and riders.
The challenge will be to translate these gestures of solidarity into concrete action that can reverse these attacks. Job one is ousting Governor Corbett and electing a Governor committed to full and fair funding, charter school accountability, ending the school to prison pipeline and returning our schools to local control. PCAPS, along with allies in the Working Families Party, will be kicking off our campaign with a gubernatorial forum on November 23rd . Be sure to be there and get your friends, neighbors and family to do the same.