Testimony of Ilene Poses to the BOE, November 21, 2019

For twenty years there has a movement across the country to Buy Local. It benefits our environment and the local economy, which should be a crucial consideration for the SDP as it paves the way for our graduating seniors from high school to their future. Perhaps the SDP should consider local alternatives before outsourcing projects that are best performed by district or city employees.

The CSPR (Comprehensive School Planning Review) has just started and there is already a need to allocate an additional $280,000 to Flo Analytics for community meetings, bringing the total expenditure to this company up to $1,000,000. Apparently, FLO was unaware of the importance of community meetings. Why FLO Analytics at all, which is based in California?

Philadelphia’s City Planners, however, are almost exclusively educated at either Penn or Temple U. These planners are city employees so they must live in the city. Living in the city gives them a greater understanding of the areas that are being gentrified, an understanding of cultural and political shifts, an understanding of the immigration policies that affect city residents, and an understanding of property values and other demographics within the city. For years this department has been working on an analysis of every section of the city entitled Philadelphia 2035. These planners live in the city and a great many send their children to the public schools. They have a vested interest in making the CSPR plan work since their children will be affected by it. Isn’t it reasonable to believe they have a better understanding of the data they are supplying to FLO Analytics – than a company from across the country? Why not follow the tenets of the buy local movement?

And why spend $46,000 for career education with Philadelphia Academies Inc. when the district personnel can work on career goals at little or no additional cost to the district? Or a hire an additonal counselor? Why not talk to the head of Ancillary Hospital Support Program for free and local advice from someone who has created a stellar career program which has been on going for 45 years? Why not visit this successful local program?

I recommend spending money on correcting :

(sing to My Favorite Things)

Flaky lead paint chips
Hot water from pipe drips
Mold and asbestos
And mice that molest us
Creepy cockroaches
Cause asthma to spring
These are a few of schools’ outrageous things.