PCAPS To Launch Election Campaign for the Education Pennsylvania’s Children Deserve

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On March 29th the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools will kick off a seven month campaign to make this year’s gubernatorial election about fully funded, quality schools for all children.   The heart of this effort will be getting 25,000 registered voters to sign a pledge to vote for candidates who are committed to the following five points:

1) Support a funding formula that will distribute state dollars based on student needs and the local district’s ability to pay.

2) Provide more revenue for education and human services by closing corporate tax loopholes, taxing natural gas production, and cancelling prison expansion.

3) Hold charter schools accountable and give local districts the power to monitor them.

4) Shutdown the school to prison pipeline. Replace harsh, zero tolerance polices that criminalize students or minor offenses with restorative justice.

5) Abolish the School Reform Commission and return our schools to Local Control.

We will be canvassing and tabling in neighborhoods throughout the city to sign up education voters.   We will continue to demonstrate and take direct action to press these demands.   And we will monitor the candidates as to where they stand on this platform.   Registering new voters and getting out a big education vote come election day will be part of our campaign.

The event on March 29th will be a kick off rally with speakers, a training for canvassers and then going door to door with the education voter pledge.

WHEN:   March 29th, 11a.m.

WHERE:  Media Mobilizing Project, 4233 Chestnut St.

PCAPS member organizations aim to turn out over a hundred volunteers for this first canvass.   Please join us.

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The  PCAPS 5 point election platform is here: 5pt platform2

Email Us at Pcaps201@gmail.com or call 267 908 4201

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Rally For Charter School Accoutability

A noon time rally at City Hall organized by Action United and supported by PCAPS drew over fifty parents and public school advocates today.   Inside State Auditor General Eugene Depasquale held a hearing in which both charter school advocates and critics testified.

As part of the rally PCAPS released an extensive set of recomendations for making charters accountable, transparent and equitable.   Speakers, including State Rep. Jim Roebuck, State Senator Shirley Kitchen and charter school parent Shanika Cottman called for leveling the playing field for charters and traditional public schools.

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We Need Charter School Accountability

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From our beginning two years ago PCAPS has called for measures that would make charter schools more transparent, accountable and equitable.   This paper documents some of the problems with the current state of charters in Pennsylvania and makes specific, common sense recomendations to address them.   Here’s the link to the report:   PCAPS_publictrust_HiRes

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PCAPS Sends Bill Green and SRC a Message!

Last Thursday’s SRC meeting saw parents, students, educators and members of the community come out to let the unelected body with it’s newly appointed and anointed Chair know what we thought.

Here are some pictures from Harvey Finkle, the people’s photographer.

And here’s a link to the article on the meeting by the Inuirer’s Kristen Graham: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140221_Green_s_first_SRC_meeting__High_drama__big_plans.html

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Let’s let the New SRC Chair Know Where We Stand!

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Here’s the new SRC chair with his patron, Gov. Corbett. The Governor and the Republican controlled legislature selected him without even allowing testimony from parents, educators and the community. Now, as he is sworn in, we need to send him a clear message on where we stand:

• On a fair contract for teachers and school workers!

• On the need to fight for full funding of our schools!

• On charter school accountability!

• On returning our schools to local control!

Come to the SRC meeting 

Make Your Voice Heard!

Thursday – Feb. 20
Gather inside at 4:30pm,

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March and Rally at Central High School Sends a strong Message to Corbett

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Join us at Central High School to Make sure Corbett gets NO Credit!

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Philadelphia public schools achieve DESPITE the governor!  We did it ourselves, no thanks to Gov. Tom Corbett!

 Gov. Tom Corbett’s draconian cuts to public education have robbed our children of vital programs and services. As a result of unprecedented state education budget cuts, students have had to do without sufficient number of nurses, counselors, school aides, librarians, teachers, supplies, and activities.

Now Governor Corbett is coming to Philly to highlight the successes of high-achieving schools.  But Corbett did nothing but make it harder for schools to successfully educate children.  Schools like Central do well despite the governor and his brutal cuts.  We did it without you!

 Join us this Friday, January 17, to highlight the achievements our city’s schools made without help from the governor.  And tell Gov. Corbett he can only take credit for HURTING our schools! Join parents, students, and activists to protest the governor and his cuts that have damaged our public schools!

 Don’t let Governor Corbett take credit for the hard work of Philadelphia’s educators and students!  We did it without you, governor!

 

 

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Full Funding Friday #14

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The Full Funding Friday Campaign moves into its 14th week.

Here are the schools where rallies are planned for this Friday. We really appreciate all the people who have volunteered to come out and join with school staff, parents and students. As before, we will have flyers and other materials on hand. Times will be 7:45 am for elementary schools, 7:15 am for high schools.   There will be no school based rallies over the holidays.

December 20, 2013

Bodine High School 1101 N. 4th St.

Bryant Elementary 6001 Cedar Ave.

Lawton Elementary 6101 Jackson St.

Loesche Elementary 595 Tomlinson Rd.

Longstreth Elementary 5700 Willows Ave.

T. M. Peirce Elementary 2300 W. Cambria St.

Wagner Middle School 1701 Chelten Ave.   

 Parkway West, MYA, 4725 Fairmount Ave.                     

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PCAPS Pays Holiday Visit To PSP offices, Board members

A busload of caroling, chanting PCAPers, mostly Fight For Philly and Action United members, took a message to the offices of Philadelphia School Partnership and two Board members.   (pictures courtesy of Fight For Philly)

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PCAPS Meets With Senator Williams on SB1085

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A delegation of four PCAPS members met yesterday afternoon with Senator Anthony Williams, a sponsor of the so called charter school reform bill, S.B. 1085 while a larger group gathered outside at his South West Philly office.

It did not come as surprise that Williams, who accepted over 3.2 million dollars from charter school and school voucher proponents in his 2010 run for Governor, remains steadfast in his support for this bill which would effectively remove any control over charter expansion from local school districts.

The bill would allow colleges and universities to create charters, an authority now reserved for local districts.   Williams said he is sponsoring the bill so as to be able to shape it and favors a compromise, hybrid model in which the District would retain some authority, but he was not clear on what this would mean.   He also reiterated his opposition to the District imposing caps on charter enrollment.   PCAPS argues that if the District cannot impose caps and otherwide control charter growth, it cannot solve its fiscal crisis and we can expect continued school closings and impoverishment of neighborhood public schools.

Williams, widely regarded as the front runner for Mayor in 2015, has long been a supporter of charters.  As a state rep. he joined with Republicans to pass the 1997 charter school law and founded the Renaissance Advantage charter school in Southwest Philadelphia, serving as Board Chair for many years.   The school was almost closed in 2003 for failing to maintain the required number of certified teachers, poor record keeping and low test scores.  The school failed to file tax returns for five years.

When asked about the school’s poor performance during the gubernatorial race, Williams said.  “I don’t hide from the realities…if a school does not work, it should not exist.”  But the reality here is that the legislation he is supporting will make closing charters much harder, doubling the length of time for charter renewal from five to ten years.

A final irony in the SB1085 law is it strips out the language that requires charters be “models of innovation” for public schools.   This was the whole reason for creating charters in the first place.   Now the supporters of this legislation have quietly dropped this language and, more or less openly, are promoting a privatized system supporting by tax dollars that will supplant public schools.

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