Barbara Dowdall’s proposed testimony to the SRC on March 16th.


Barbara testifying at the December 16, 2016 SRC meeting.

Barbara was late in arriving at the SRC meeting and was unable to give her testimony. This is the transcript of her proposed testimony.


Good evening. My name is Barbara McDowell Dowdall, a retired teacher with the School District of Philadelphia who has accompanied students from Lankenau Motivation High School and Randolph Career Tech to Harrisburg to advocate for funding and arranged for students from Dobbins Career Tech to journey a shorter distance to a rally at City Hall for the same purpose. In retirement I am a member of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools or APPS.

I am here this evening to encourage members of the School Reform Commission and Superintendent Hite to create your own advocacy avenues. Even though commissioners in the past have cited budget constraints as reasons for closing schools and libraries (librarians accidentally omitted from your teacher ad appeal?) and cancelling their collective bargaining contract with the PFT, and just today spokesperson Lee Whack iterated that “we must remain mindful of the funding limits we have been given by city and state funders, and those limits do not include an additional $400 million to meet what is demanded by PFT leadership.” “Wanted: 1,000 Phila. Teachers,” by Kristen A. Graham The Inquirer {Side note: PFT leadership is not apart from but was elected by members of the union}

But here is the good news: Local organizations have provided the research and action plans you need to take to those elected officials who appointed/approved/and/or hired you as powerful arguments for the restoration of, and increase in, funding that would meet the actual needs of our students in the Philadelphia public schools.

Powerful data from the Public Interest Law Center and published in local press makes clear that the intersection of poverty and race in school districts has been the undisputed “guarantee” of underfunding and thus underachievement. Though you cannot, of course, be a participant in the lawsuit, you are free to use its data to seek justice from those who have entrusted management of our district to your care.

School Funding Lawsuit | The Public Interest Law Center

Case Updates: Education Funding Primer | The Public Interest Law Center

New education law report slams Pennsylvania school funding | Philadelphia Tribune – March 10, 2017

For assistance in your work to inform and organize students and their families to advocate for themselves, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) and The Campaign for Fair Education Funding are there to assist. (  You each have in your hands the post card (already stamped for your convenience) that, if two of which were provided to every student in our district (one for state rep, one for state senator), imagine the impact! For help in providing legislative appointment and transportation, contact Tomea (215-667-9421)