Defenders of Public Education Speak Before the BOE, November 21, 2019

BOE

Click on the individual’s name to read a transcript of his or her testimony.

 Kathleen Butts on Environmental Safety Plan

Peg Devine on Student Immunizations

Barbara Dowdall on Public School Dreams

Eileen Duffey on Student Immunizations

Deborah Grill on Outsourcing to Attuned Partners

Lisa Haver on Accountability and Responsibility

Daun Kauffman on Grants for STEP

Kristin Luebbert on the K-2 Suspension Ban

Tricia Malloy on Student Immunizations

Heather Marcus on the Contract with KIPP

Diane Payne on Accountability and Outsourcing

Ilene Poses on Using Local Resources

Coleen Quinn on Student Immunizations

Lynda Rubin on Outsourcing Programs ro Private Companies

 

 

Ears on the Board of Education, November 21, 2019

by Diane Payne

The eight APPS members in attendance, along with our supporters, stood and read in unison our legal objection to the Board’s ongoing violations of the PA Sunshine Act–this month the secret vote on the Boys Latin Charter School renewal.  This Board votes on all charter school issues (and only charter school issues) without providing the text of the Action Item or reading the text of the Item into the record. This is tantamount to voting in secret because the public has no information on the details on this item at the time of the vote.  President Wilkerson attempted to gavel and talk over us, thus failing to acknowledge the Board’s obligation to listen to members of the public formally objecting under Section 710(c) of the PA Sunshine Act.

About a dozen school nurses showed up to protest the mismanagement of Health Services in the District.  The eloquent and comprehensive testimonies of the nurses showed once again that Philadelphia school nurses are highly professional, credentialed, and competent.

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Board of Education Public Hearing: September 26, 2019

by Lynda Rubin

The recently amended Philadelphia Home Rule Charter mandates that the Board of Education hold at least two public hearings each school year for the sole purpose of giving parents, students, teachers, and community members the right and opportunity to address the Board with concerns, suggestions, complaints and questions. One purpose of making these hearings part of the City Charter was to underline that the Board is a public body that needs to engage with and be responsive to the public will. The Board may not always agree with members of the public, but they do have to consider the wishes of the people as they make decisions about spending tax dollars and formulating educational policy. The city’s populace successfully fought to have the School Reform Commission replaced with a Board precisely because the SRC ignored the people’s interests and inclusion in the process of running public schools for our city’s children. That this Board is appointed by the mayor and not elected by voters in no way diminishes the fact that its members are expected to be working on behalf of the public–that is, their constituents.

In light of that, it is inexplicable that the Board did not publicized this meeting commensurate with its importance, resulting in a disappointingly under-attended meeting. Board members were informed by staff that robo-calls were made to parents, and that notice was posted on the District’s website. But this notice  required a more descriptive and inviting name than the two-word “Public Hearing” in a small box in the Board calendar, which requires several page clicks to find. As community activist Mama Gail Clouden pointed out in her testimony, students’ home and cell phone numbers are changed too often to be a reliable means of contact. At the very least, a banner with the meeting information should have been prominently placed on the Home Page of the District’s website where anyone who goes to the website for any reason will see it. The Board should explore such ideas as using PSAs (Public Service Announcements) on TV and radio stations which are often provided free as a service to public schools.

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Defenders of Public Education Speak Before the BOE, August 15, 2019

BOE

Click on the individual’s name to read the transcript of his or her testimony.

 

Lisa Haver on Board Transparency

Karel Kilimnik on the Sale of Whittier

Stephanie King on School Segregation

Tasaday Messina on the Extended School Year (ESY) Program

Diane Payne on Broad Fellows Positions

Ilene Poses on Student Voter Registration

Zoe Rooney on ESY and Board Transparency & Communication

Lynda Rubin on the Sale of Public School Buildings