The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.
Since January the SRC has approved $177 million in contracts to outside vendors. Services previously provided by district staff. In 2012 when the Broad trained William Hite became superintendent he escalated the outsourcing of services including special needs resources, professional development, substitute teachers, and transportation. Last week instead of funding Strawberry Mansion High School he sent $13 million into the pocket of One Bright Ray to install Accelerated Programs previously provided by district teachers and principals into what he calls the SM Complex. He intends to shutter Mansion and turn it into some kind of project based high school with no consultation with students, parents, teachers, or community thereby wiping out an institution in the rapidly gentrifying Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. Labeling schools as failing takes the responsibility off of district, city, and state officials for failing our schools. Keep Strawberry Mansion High School open. We demand respect & transparency, a 9thgrade class for next year, full restoration of programs, and turning Mansion back into a 7thto 12 grade school.
Two more charter school applications will probably be approved tonight as the fire sale is on by this lame duck governmental body intent on handing out as many contracts as possible before their term expires next month. I challenge you to strip off your hypocrisy and cowardice and deny both APM and Phila Hebrew Charter Schools. Approving them means you are putting your hands into district classrooms and stealing teachers, books, and resources and placing them in the jaws of these charter management companies who will exist long after June 30th. I ask you to discuss your decision in front of us. Take a stand for all of our students and deny these charters.