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Sabotaging our children and our schools

This afternoon, the House GOP leadership announced that it would not return to Harrisburg to vote on a proposed cigarette tax bill that had been delayed in the state Senate. The failure to pass the bill means Philadelphia schools are more than $83 million short of last year’s inadequate funding. This is Parents United’s statement about the latest failure of the state leadership.

Republican lawmakers have scheduled golf outings and fundraisers for next week but they won’t find time for the simple act of passing a marginal cigarette tax for Philadelphia schools – the only district in the state run by the state of Pennsylvania.

The House GOP decision to refuse the barest of funding gestures is a planned sabotage of our schools, our children, and our city. It proves that under Governor Tom Corbett, the “crisis” in Philadelphia has never been accidental, unpredictable, or a surprise. It’s been a purposeful act of cruelty and neglect.

Parents United for Public Education calls upon the School District of Philadelphia to stand for the safety and academic well-being of Philadelphia children. There should be no cuts to schools as a result of the state legislature’s failure. Moreover, the District must conduct a needs-based assessment of every school and restore key personnel to assure the academic success and health of children. Schools should not open otherwise.

Parents United will consult with legal counsel about our rights and options in the weeks ahead. We believe our children’s lives and well-being are at stake, and will do what’s necessary to protect them from the unforgiveable failure and patent cruelty of too many of our elected officials.

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8 thoughts on “Sabotaging our children and our schools

  1. Where is Michael Churchill? Where is the lawsuit? The Pa. Constitution says there has to be public education provided by the state.

    • A couple of things. First at least two to three funding lawsuits have already been filed over the last two decades – each one of which has failed at different levels for different reasons. Second, Parents United supports PILCOP and others who will be filing a suit in the coming weeks against the state over equitable funding statewide. We will also likely support legal action should schools fail to open fully funded and on time. Regardless of this, legal action takes time and it is not always a solution. Look at the historic Abbott case in New Jersey for example which took ten years to wind its way through the courts and was undone by Chris Christie by executive order or something along those lines. Court action is a tool – and sometimes a solution – but it can’t be seen as a fix in any meaningfully timely way. It doesn’t mean it’s not useful. It just means that plenty of things must happen – namely voting and civic action – which can effect significant change as well.

  2. We need real school reform, downsizing this bloated education administration and to get this union out of education. Not more money for the same garbage as we have always done as this mess has grown and money has been squandered. Your organization is part of the problem for calling for more of the same failure even as teachers cheat on tests with no consequences.

    • I am not sure what you mean by “real school reform.” First, the District administrative costs are now down to 2.7% – likely the lowest in the nation. While you could argue that certain individuals are overpaid, your description that the SDP is “bloated” clearly shows you don’t know what you’re talking about. Second, your comment about getting “this union out of education” reveals a level of specific antipathy toward the teachers union I presume (?) that clouds judgment and also violates NLRB and labor rights rulings. We don’t get anywhere if a singular purpose is to destroy or drive out a key partner and entity in school improvement. Since 2006, our organization of parents enrolled in District schools has been fighting for a quality public education for every child. That’s our mission. Your focus however clearly lies elsewhere.

  3. Gov. Corbett is an ass. He couldn’t care less about our kids. I smoke and I’m for the increase in the cigarette tax. It may make me stop smoking but I’m definitely for the tax. Our kids need the school and the teachers. Without them then our kids will be so under educated. And we fight to keep our kids in school while Gov. Corbett fights to close them.

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