Parents, Educators and Students Should Shape District Policies

Policy Committee Meeting: April 28, 2022

by Diane Payne and Lynda Rubin

Exactly one week after this meeting, District parents received an email notifying them that the District would be carrying out weapons searches in middle schools.

The email, signed by “The School District of Philadelphia”, told parents that their children would be subject to “periodic weapons screenings”. The anonymous author of the email wrote, “The District understands that this level of screening may feel intrusive and inconvenient.” Although Board Member Reginald Streater defended the District’s decision in the Inquirer, neither he nor any other Board member brought it up for discussion at this Policy meeting or at the April 21 action meeting. Did the Board not know about the District’s impending action? The Board makes policy on student safety, not the administration.  Why did the Board not give parents an opportunity to weigh in–either for or against–the heightened security measures? 

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Board Must Change Its Spending Priorities

Budget Hearing: April 21, 2022

by Lynda Rubin

The Board of Education scheduled its annual budget hearing just one hour before its April action meeting. With a lengthy presentation from Chief Financial Officer Uri Monson on the agenda, followed by questions from the Board and testimony from nine public speakers, there was not much time for careful deliberation about the Board’s own spending priorities. It seemed at times that the tail once again was wagging the dog, with Board members’ comments and questions reflecting Board compliance rather than Board leadership.

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