Philadelphians Show Solidarity With Teachers

Get a sign and write who you are and add “I stand in solidarity with Philadelphia teachers.” Take a selfie, post it on FB and tweet it using the hashtags #solidaritywithteachers and #phled. Like these people did.

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PFT “Turn Up for Truth” Rally

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Send Corbett and the SRC a Message Next Thursday

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Turn Up for Truth rallies at Schools Across City

Rally at John B. Kelley Elementary in Germantown

Rally at John B. Kelley Elementary in Germantown

PFT members and community supporters rallied this morning and leafletted parents, challenging an earlier letter sent to them by the District on the decision to cancel the PFT contract and impose cuts in health care (see flyer below)   A pdf is here.

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Parents and Teachers Sit In lobby of Corbett’s office.

Yesterday, October 9th, at 4:00 PM, the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, along with school parents, students, and teachers, attempted to hold mock auction inside the Governor’s office on the 11th floor of the Bellvue Stratford on South Broad St.   Police blocked access to the elevators and about fifty people sat down in the lobby.   PPEHRC leader and Moffat parent Cheri Honkala was arrested.    The demonstration was in response to the SRC’s decision to cut teachers’ health benefits, as well as the long term decline in school funding.

photo credit: Harvey Finkle

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Cheri Honkala

Cheri Honkala

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Report Targers Charter School Fraud

ACTION United, along with the Center for Popular Democracy and  Integrity in Education, released a report on October 1st calling for all those with responsbility for monitoring charters, including the charter schools themselves, to get serious about charter school fraud.   The report documents the 30 million dollars of known fraud and calls for forensic adudits in order to correct the problem.    ACTION United, along with PCAPS, will be developing a campaign around this issue, including passage of legislation, in the coming months.

The report was announced at press conference and rally outside the Governor’s office.   When demonstrators learned that Corbett was up the street a the Union League, they made an effort to deliver a copy of the report to him, but, as usual, the Governor was unwlling to meet with his constituents.

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ACTION United leader Kia Hinton speaking outside Governor office.

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Yesterday at Governor Corbett’s Office

Following the SRC’s cancellation of the PFT contract, PA Working Families, Fight for Philly, PCAPS and many other activists demonstrated at the Governor’s office, targetting Corbett as the driving force behind this latest attack on teachers.

pictures from Harvey Finkle

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PCAPS statement on SRC Move To Cancel PFT Contract

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Without public discussion or debate, the SRC moved today to void the contract of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and impose 45 million dollars in cuts to health care benefits.

The SRC’s long term plan is to finance a bare bones education program on the backs of school workers. SRC chair Green touts “sacrifices” by other District unions to justify imposing terms on the PFT. But these were not voluntary contributions but concessions that the District coerced.

Notably, in listing the sacrifices made by working people, Green fails to mention that corporate interests have not stepped up to fund the schools, nor has the business friendly SRC taken any steps to demand they do so. Banks make millions on financing school debt, big corporations and developers get tax abatements, and mega non profits pay no taxes to support the schools.

These concessions will not give us the schools our children need. At best this is an ineffective, stop gap measure that distracts from the fundamental changes needed to fully fund our schools.”. The long term consequences of cutting the compensation for teachers and other professionals, who already are paid less than their suburban counterparts, will make it more difficult to attract people to work in our schools.

The crisis facing our schools is rooted in the state’s failure to provide adequate revenue and an equitable formula for distributing it. Governor Corbett is the face of that failure and Bill Green is his willing accomplice.

Once again the SRC shows its contempt for the public by failing to advertise this meeting (except for a practically invisible announcement in yesterday’s Inquirer). Once again the SRC shows its lack of respect for the District workforce by refusing to treat them fairly and engage in good faith bargaining. Once again the SRC shows that it has no equitable and sustainable program for funding our schools. Once again the SRC demonstrates why we must abolish it and replace it with real democratic governance.

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“Defunding Public Education and Mass Incarceration: Two Sides of the Same Coin”

PCAPS Coordinator Ron Whitehorne speaking yesterday at Governor debate

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Message to Candidates: Schools Not Prisons

Faith leaders, union members, and advocates for both education and ending mass incarceration spoke and gave witness outside the gubernatorial debate at the WKYW studios in center city.   Christian, Muslim and Jewish clergy sounded the call for a fair funding formula as a critical step in achieveing education justice.  Hakim Ali from Decarcerate PA demanded both candidates call for halting prison construction and ending policies of mass incarceration.   Ron Whitehorne from PCAPS highlighted our five point education platform (see below) and characterized defunding education and locking away inner city youth in prison as “two sides of the same coin.”

Hakiim Ali of Decarcerate PA

Hakiim Ali of Decarcerate PA

Bishop Dwayne Royster from POWER

Bishop Dwayne Royster from POWER

PCAPS Coordinator Ron Whitehorne

PCAPS Coordinator Ron Whitehorne

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