Policy Committee Meeting: January 10, 2019

by Diane Payne

Co-chairs Maria McColgan and Joyce Wilkerson were present,  along with committee members Julia Danzy, Lee Huang, and Chris McGinley.  Board member Wayne Walker was in attendance as well. Three APPS members attended this meeting; two spoke in defense of public education.  APPS reports on all BOE meetings can be viewed at APPSPhilly.net.

(Videos of all Board meetings can be viewed on the Board of Education page on the SDP website. Meeting materials, including agendas and powerpoint presentations, can be found on the Board of Education website.   All of the materials of the January 10 meeting are not yet posted, but you can view the online agenda with links to each policy under review here.)

The Committee approved Minutes of its October 11, 2018 meeting.

District Chief of Staff Naomi Wyatt served as Dr. Hite’s designee at this meeting. She introduced both the policies to be reviewed and the other staff members who provided the information on each policy.

 

To read the proposed policy changes and speakers’ testimony click here.

 

Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting: January 10, 2019

by Karel Kilimnik

Co-chairs Leticia Egea-Hinton and Lee Huang were present along with Committee members Wayne Walker and Joyce Wilkerson. Board member Chris McGinley attended; Board member Angela McIver left early and Julia Danzy came in after the meeting started. Two APPS members attended this meeting and spoke in defense of public education. City Director of Finance Rob Dubow attended part of the meeting as well. The Committee approved Minutes of its  December 6 2018 meeting. Egea-Hinton announced a schedule change for this Committee’s meetings due to objections from the community about its 10 AM start time. February, April, and June meetings are scheduled for 4 PM, just after school hours. They expressed hope that this will encourage more parent participation. Two staff presentations followed: Understanding the Budget Process by Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson and Chief Operating Officer Danielle Floyd’s updates on Facilities Renovations and Remediations. (The Agenda, Power-Point presentations, and Minutes are available on the Board website under Meeting Materials.)

Continue reading here.

Student Achievement and Support Committee: January 10, 2019

by Ilene Poses and Lynda Rubin

Co-chair Dr. Angela McIver called the meeting to order and chaired the proceedings. All Committee members were present: Co-chair Dr. Chris McGinley, Julia Danzy, Mallory Fix- Lopez, and Dr. Maria McColgan. Also present were Board Members Leticia Egea-Hilton, Wayne Walker, Board President Joyce Wilkerson, and Student Representatives Julia Frank and Alfredo Pratico.

Continue reading here.

Opinion: All schools and all students need libraries

 Children at the ceremonial opening of Bache-Martin’s new library. Photo from the website of the Bache-Martin Home and School Association

The opening of a new library this month at Bache-Martin Elementary in Fairmount has been reported as a feel-good story – one about a community pulling together to fund and build something that most students in Philadelphia haven’t seen in years. The occasion was considered so momentous that Mayor Kenney, City Council President Darrell Clarke, and U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans were there to celebrate what theInquirer headline proclaimed to be a “miracle.”

But there is nothing miraculous about communities having to fend for themselves in providing the necessary resources for Philadelphia students. A true miracle would be the District making a commitment to bringing back libraries and librarians in all schools.

A “Hunger Games” mentality has seeped into our collective consciousness.  Teachers create GoFundMe accounts for supplies and school trips. Elementary students write letters to local politicians to plead for new playground equipment. High school seniors reach out to community donors to put books and furniture in an underused classroom to create a school library.

Movie and sports stars select schools to receive new playgrounds, local politicians and District officials show up for the ribbon-cutting, and the news stories celebrate yet another charitable event, as we witness the continual underfunding of the city’s public schools.

Equity is a stated goal of Superintendent William Hite’s Action Plan. But how can equity be achieved when children have to be in the right place at the right time – where parents have the time and skills to write grants, community members have enough free time to volunteer, and elected officials respond to their letters pleading for resources?

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