Here we are for a new school year. It was certainly bumpy with the new August start date in hot, hot school buildings without adequate cooling systems.
On the positive side, the School District of Philadelphia is now under local control. The state governed School Reform Commission was been abolished and the mayoral appointed Board of Education has been seated. Our schools have had much needed resources such as at least one full time guidance counselor and nurse for every site and more money is getting to the student level.
Big issues still loom in this district. There is increasing concern about the amount of funding used for outsourcing and external contracting for consultants and digital platforms. Now that we are under local control, Philadelphia has to determine how it will adequately fund it’s schools. There are major issues with our school facilities due to lack of preventive maintenance as well as major infrastructure improvements.
There are opportunities for parents and communities to become involved in their children’s schools. We continue to advocate for high quality public education for Philadelphia’s students. Parents United for Public Education constructed this Back to School Toolkit as a resource to help give information and guidance for you and your school communities.
What’s in the Toolkit:
-Looks at the major campaigns where Parents United works to provide local funding for our schools:
Pay Up PPA and Philadelphia Healthy Schools Initiative
Philadelphia continues to need major structural funding stability and planning as our property taxes continue to rise. Parents United will continue to defend our students’ right to a school funding guarantee from our city leaders.
-Provides tips to ensure that all students receive the supports to maximize their education.
Parents United has been committed to protecting our students no matter what their learning differences or diverse needs.
-Gives a step by step guide to help report inequities to the Pennsylvania Department of Education
Parents United is a pioneer of documenting inefficiencies in our students’ education and in and getting parents, staff, students and community members to join us in reporting issues in our schools as well as demand that the PA Dept. of Education investigate.
-Shows Parents United and coalition efforts to help the safe, healthy, comfortable schools our students deserve.
It is far past time that our school facilities have the safe, nurturing environment that will allow our students to learn.
-Serves to connect people to resources and organizations who are working to eliminate the “school to prison” pipeline.
Parents United is committed to this campaign to increase the number of counselors, institute trauma informed practices, and minimize punitive out of school time.
We are looking forward a great school year. We know that there is a lot going on in the district. We are grateful for the past contributors who helped create this organization. Parents United for Public Education is excited to work with our area advocacy groups as well as those state and nation- wide.