Yesterday at a rally at Cooke Elementary PFT President Jerry Jordan called for transforming Cooke and the other schools slated for conversion to charters into community schools. Jordan spoke to a responsive crowd of PFT teachers and some parents as well. Council candidate Helen Gym, State Senator Vincent Hughes and Cooke teacher PFT Building Rep. Christine Kolenut, and PCAPS Coordinator Ron Whitehorne also spoke.
Echoing Jordan’s call for community schools, Whitehorne pointed out ” that New York, Baltimore and other cities are looking to community schools as a way to take on the deficits caused by systemic racism and poverty, while Philadelphia continues down the path of privatization. Jim Kenny has endorsed our call for 25 new community schools. Council President Clarke is developing his own community school initiative. But no where in the Action 3.0 plan or in this latest initiative does it even get any mention…We won’t accept a segregated, two tier education system where black and brown children,the majority of whom are living in poverty, are denied the things children living in white affluent communities take for granted”.
PCAPS is committed to organizing along with allies across the city to defeat the charter turnover plan and press forward the campaign for community schools. Next step is to let the SRC know that we won’t tolerate the District’s underhanded effort at pushing this plan through without a transparent, democratic process. Come out on Thursday, October 15th at 440 N. Broad at 5pm.