PCAPS Lauches Voter Education and Mobilizaiton Campaign

An effort to sign up 25,000 education voters to pledge to elect a Governor will support full and fair funding, charter school accountability, ending the school to prison pipe line and returning our school to local control kicked of today in West Philadelphia.   Upwards of a hundred and twenty people rallied at the Media Mobilizing Project, did a youth led canvas training and then ventured out in a heavy rain with clipboards and voter pledge cards. This will be the first of many canvases over next seven months.

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PCAPS statement on the District’s Seeking Court Approval for Imposing Work Rules

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Teachers at CAPA demonstrating for full funding 

The decision of the Philadelphia School District to seek Supreme Court approval for scrapping collective bargaining and unilaterally imposing so called work rules is a dangerous course of action that will not help us overcome the crisis in our schools.

 

While Superintendent Hite promotes this action as necessary to insure that every student gets “the right teacher with the right skill-sets to support quality learning”, the District has presented no evidence that universal site selection and elimination of seniority will lead to this outcome.   Roughly half the positions in the District are already filled by means of site selection with mixed results. PCAPS believes that improved professional development and competitive compensation that could attract and retain good teachers is a course that would improve teaching and learning.  But the District instead calls for cutting compensation and attacking due process rights that teachers across the state, including those in the highest performing schools, have had for decades.

 

While the District has made seniority the main target in its public statements, it also is calling for giving principals control over teacher prep time, modifying the caps on class size, eliminating contract language on ratios of counselors to students and other measures that have an impact on student learning.   Getting the Court to approve the District’s authority to unilaterally dictate the non-economic part of the teachers contract is likely to lead to imposition of terms that will not only drive good teachers out of the District, but lead to further understaffing and cut backs in services related to instruction and school safety.

 

Moreover, as a labor-community coalition we are concerned with the District’s rejection of collective bargaining and their embracing privatization as the road forward.    The current announcement includes a decision to privatize substitute services through competitive bidding.   Philadelphia’s working families see the shrinking number of union jobs and the continual downward spiral of wages as a major issue and so do we.

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Parents, students and teachers at Cooke Wissahickon protesting split classes and lay offs of staff.

PCAPS wants a contract that is good for students and fair for teachers.   What the District is pushing fails on both counts.   We call upon our elected officials, and our candidates for public office, to speak out, demand the District bargain in good faith, launch a serious effort to get school funding instead of attacking school workers.

 

 

 

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Tax the Frackers, Fund Our Schools

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When it comes to raising money for our schools in Harrisburg, most of what we hear about is giving Philadelphia the right to levy more taxes its working class citizens.   Meanwhile corporations, both state wide and in Philadelphia, keep reaping in subsidies.  But State Senator Vincent Hughes has a better idea.   Like PCAPS, he is calling for taxing Marcellus Shale and raising money for the schools.    Let’s get behind this!

ACTION ALERT!!!!

WHAT; FUND OUR SCHOOLS/TAX MARCELLUS SHALE RALLY
WHEN: Thursday, MARCH 27 @ 4 PM
WHERE: OUTSIDE 440 N. BROAD STREET (rain location, SDP auditorium)

WHO : STATE SENATOR VINCENT HUGHES and ALL CONCERNED CITIZENS

WHY: Our schools have been devastated by nearly $1 billion in cuts in Gov. Tom Corbett’s budgets. To repair that damage, State Senator Vincent Hughes is sponsoring a bill that will immediately generate $375 million new dollars for education across Pennsylvania. The bill will tax the extraction of Marcellus Shale natural gas and generate more than $1 billion NEW DOLLARS for education by 2020.

JOIN THE FIGHT TO FUND OUR SCHOOLS!!
TIME FOR CORPORATIONS TO PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE!!

JOIN US ON Thursday, MARCH 27 @ 4pm, 440 N. Broad Street!!

More info: Call 215-879-7777.

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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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