“It’s not enough.”
Parents United for Public Education supports the call of the Philadelphia delegation for the state to immediately release the $45 million due to the Philadelphia public schools, but we want to be clear: It’s not enough.
The $45 million is federal money already due to the Philadelphia schools. For the state to hold hostage the money in order to force unreasonable demands on hardworking teachers and staff is an outrage. Moreover, even when the state releases the $45 million, its emergency contribution to addressing the crisis remains a pathetic $2 million.
As parents, we are tired and exasperated with delays and excuses which have dominated the conversation ever since Superintendent Hite issued his ultimatum last week.
We call upon the city and state to fund the schools according to the demand the District laid out clearly last spring and summer: $120 million from the state (of which it has delivered $2 million), and a minimum of an additional $50 million from the city (it has already delivered $28 million). The District must re-do its school by school budgets to demonstrate how these funds will adequately, equitably and safely staff our schools for the entire school year. We want assurances that there will be a guidance counselor in every school building, and that aides, teachers, assistant principals, librarians, nurses, extracurriculars and book and supply money be restored both equitably and adequately.
The District should not open in September unless parents can see that our schools are safe and adequately staffed and funded. We do not want money to open buildings. We want funding to educate our children in the way in which they deserve.