This week’s Action Alert for schools

Action ToolkitThis week is a busy week of action for our schools. Whether it’s as simple as a phone call, as direct as testimony to City Council, or as extensive as a lobby day to Harrisburg, make some time for our schools this week!

TODAY! June 10th Harrisburg Call in

Take 10 minutes to make three phone calls today! Did you miss today? Keep calling.
1. Call your state senator: This is the most important call. The state senate has the power and opportunity to move things in the right direction for public education. Call your state senator and ask him/her to:
  • Restore $270 million to the education budget: PA has cut nearly $1B from education under Corbett. They can find the means to restore less than a third of that.
  • Improve the education funding formula: PA is one of three states without an education funding formula.
  • Do not eliminate the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax, which will give corporation $100s of millions in tax breaks while our schools starve.
2. Call your state representative: 

The House failed to make any movement in education AND voted to reduce the corporate income tax by 30, costing the PA budget $700 million. Tell House Democrats that they need to exercise their power for our schools. Read how the House can play a role here.
3. Call Gov. Corbett’s office 717-787-2500: Tell him education is your #1 priority and, as Governor, he must restore education funds he took out of the budget.


Hearings are at City Council, 4th floor
Wed., June 12, 2 p.m.: Testify for liquor by the drink
(Council positions are subject to change)
FOR Liquor by the Drink tax: Clarke, Reynolds-Brown, Sanchez, Bass, Jones  
Tasco, Johnson, Goode, Greenlee
OPPOSED: Henon, Kenney, Squilla, Blackwell, O’Neill, Green, Oh, O’Brien
Thurs., June 13, 11 a.m.: Testify for Use & Occupancy Tax
Targets: Clarke, Squilla, Blackwell, Johnson, Oh

No place is more important than City Council. Unlike Harrisburg, Council is comprised entirely of our elected officials. Yet to date, they have made no solid promises to schools. They have approved forwarding a cigarette tax request for Harrisburg approval, but even if it passes it will not be enough. Some Council members like Councilman Squilla make tired promises about tax collection, but we have heard those before and no one is guaranteeing any solid numbers.

We need your voice at Council.
  1. Have 10 minutes? Call your council rep to support both the cigarette and liquor by the drink tax AND the Use & Occupancy tax. Find out more about these taxes here.
  2. Have an hour or two? Testify at City Council on the dates and times above. You won’t be alone! You’ll get three minutes to make a pitch why Council should defy the lobbyists from the Chamber of Commerce and other place to demand money for schools.
  3. Have a little more time? Drop by your council rep’s office and ask to speak with a staff person about the schools issue. Write a personal letter about the schools and mail it today.


Other events

Wed. June 12: Harrisburg Lobby Day

Sponsored by PCCY. Philadelphia parents, teachers, students and concerned citizens will meet at 8:30 a.m. in the Capitol cafeteria, spend the morning lobbying with legislators then host a 12:30 p.m. press conference in the Capitol Rotunda. For more information, contact Sarah Stewart:

Fri., June 14: P.O.W.E.R./Philadelphia Student Union march

4 p.m., Love Park to Gov. Corbett’s office, 200 s. Broad Street

3 thoughts on “This week’s Action Alert for schools

  1. Helen: I would love to speak with you about what I can do to help fight for my daughter’s public school. She attends Bridesburg Elementary in Northeast Philadelphia. I wrote an article this week that’s going to be printed in our local newspaper. It goes in depth about issues facing public education in our community. Just a bit of a background, Bridesburg is a K-5 public school. There is no quality middle school option in our area. Bridesburg is a feeder into Harding Middle School but that school is a failing, unsafe option. We have 3 local Charters, but long waiting lists and lottery enrollments prevent our local students from getting into those schools. We used to have 2 thriving Catholic schools, but both of those have closed down. The movement for school choice in Philadelphia has resulted in taking MY choice as a parent away from me. I will paste the article below. I would love to speak with you about this and the possibility of you coming to the school to talk with parents about what we can do to advocate for our children and community. Thank you for all you have done so far. You are a true patriot!

    1. Hi Adam! It’s terrible what’s happening in Bridesburg and around the city. The irony of course is that charters have actually shuttered many neighborhood parochial institutions. The District has estimated that as many as 30% of charter students come from the parochial system. The District should also be focusing on improving Harding rather than investing in the expansion and privileges bestowed on schools which are not under their management or control. We look forward to linking to your op-ed after it appears in the newspaper!

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