photo credit: WHYY Newworks, Parents United
On February 17th people will stage “walk-ins” at hundreds of schools in over thirty cities demanding the schools our children deserve and an end to state takeovers, privatization and budget cutbacks. These policies have been promoted by Wall Street to enrich themselves. Rather than realize the promise of equal education for all, our country has moved backward as working class, black and brown communities have seen their schools closed or privatized and services cut. The national action is being sponsored by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS), a broad coalition of labor and community based organizations.
Here in Philadelphia an unelected, unaccountable, state imposed School Reform Commission has slashed staffing, closed schools, and turned others over to charter operators . This year three elementary schools, Cooke, Huey and Wister, have been targeted. Parents and the community have been shut out from the decision making and at Huey and Cooke, charters with questionable records have been selected. At Wister the District cancelled the plan to give the school to Mastery Charter after their data showed the school had made significant improvements and no longer warranted drastic intervention. But the SRC, catering to the Philadelphia School Partnership and Mastery, overrode Superintendent Hite and put Wister back on the list.
As part of this national action come out and support parents and school staff at Wister, Cooke and Huey. Gather for coffee and donuts and a rally in the Wister school yard, 67 E. Bringhurst St., beginning at 7:45.
• DEMAND NO CHARTER TAKEOVERS
• WE WANT FULLY FUNDED COMMUNITY SCHOOLS WHERE STUDENTS, PARENTS AND EDUCATORS HAVE A VOICE.
• AN END TO THE STATE TAKEOVER AND A RETURN OF OUR SCHOOLS TO LOCAL CONTROL
The SRC will take the final vote in April. We have to continue to mobilize to defeat this plan. This is an important moment for future of public education in our city. We call on City Council, the Mayor and the Governor to speak out in favor of these demands.