School District of Philadelphia Board of Education Budget Meeting Testimony 4/21/22
By Lynda Rubin
The budget needs of each local school is where the District should start, not relegate them to what’s left over from Board and Administration spending.
Just this week, Bodine High School students staged a walk-out to protest the present untenable climate and lack of programs that the District Administration is ignoring. How is it that a school as prestigious as Bodine is allowed to go into decline from neglect? What does this lack of priority foretell to local schools all over the District?
Bodine has long been known as a school with a family atmosphere with a stellar program. Of all things, this World Affairs High School did not even have its annual International Day this year.
As a retired K-8 counselor, I was very familiar with Bodine and sent many students there. It is not the same. And Bodine is not alone.
The Board and 440 Administration tout at every Board meeting your Goals and Guardrails and how expenditures support those goals. But Bodine, is not only not feeling it, they feel ignored. How is that happening? What has happened to having 440 support staff who understand Philadelphia schools because they taught in one, or more, before rising to become administrative support for teachers and students?
Principals, teachers and parents are demanding that each school has 5 full time administrative support staff. Assistant Principal, fully-released Lead Reading teacher, fully-released Math Lead, School Climate Manager, and Special Education Compliance Manager. To that list a Certified School Teacher Librarian in a functioning library should be added.
This District’s Board and Administration are more charged up about how they can sell to the public a picture of a revitalized School District while allowing school programs, indispensable staff supports and student climate to wither.
This Budget does not meet the core standards necessary to fully support the needs of principals, teachers, students and families. You can begin by restore each of these 6 staff positions in every school.