Next week the campaign to elect a Governor committed to education continues with a a Schools, Not Prisons action outside the radio debate between Governor Corbett and challenger Tom Wolf. We are joining with Decarcerate PA, ACT-Up and others at the KYW studio, 1555 Hamilton Street, at 7:30 AM. Join on the facebook event page
Governor Corbett at the sametime he slashed a billion dollars from the education budget dramatically increased spending on prison construction. Tom Wolf, while expressing support for ending the school to prison pipe, needs to be more vocal and concrete about ending the policies of mass incarceration.
Point Four of our five point education election platform reads:
Schools, Not Prisons In Philadelphia and elsewhere we have seen the development of a school-to-prison pipe line that substitutes mass incarceration of poor people of color for investment in quality schools and good jobs. Besides opposing expanded prison construction we need to examine misguided policies in both schools and the criminal justice system that criminalize young people and deny them an opportunity for a decent future.
- Promote community schools – schools that respond to the needs of communities by incorporating social services , service based learning, and a real voice for parents, students and residents can better meet the needs of our children.
- Schools need to be encouraged to develop restorative justice programs that teach individual and social responsibility as opposed to harsh, zero tolerance policies.
- Punitive sentencing, a war on drugs that targets people of color for harsh treatment for minor offences and a policy that, by default, prosecutes all juveniles charged with felonies as adults are examples of criminal justice policies that need to be reexamined.