Testimony of Katrina Clark to the Board of Education, October 18, 2018


Good evening. My name is Katrina Clark. I am one of the Vice Presidents of the Philadelphia Home and School Council and currently serve as the Membership Chair. In this role, I am given direct access and knowledge of the wonderful work our Home and Schools throughout the district do to support our school administrators, families and teachers.

Tonight I want to speak to you and provide you all with a reminder of how valuable our Home and Schools are and the importance of unhindered devoted parent support that should be welcomed freely from our Home and Schools. I want to remind you of the importance of the supporting and respecting the parents, their voice and the work that they do.

The Home and Schools currently operating are doing so as groups of engaged and committed parents. Throughout this beautiful diverse city, you have a composite of beautifully diverse parents and guardians. The one thing that remains consistent regardless of the neighborhood, economic background, level of education and/or experience is their devotion to the students and school community.

Over the 140+ years, HSA’s have existed in this city, They’ve served as advocates for their parents, students, staff and even this overall district. They’ve fought for quality education nationally and locally, fair and equitable contracts for teachers and SDP employees, and parent and children’s rights.

They’ve educated parents on processes, best practices for navigating services for their students and themselves. HSA’s are the part of the originator groups here in this city that created and offered parent training and education services.

They’ve supported schools financially with countless manpower, and unwavering dedication. Managed countless events, activities and campaigns that have brought joy, positive spirit and energy to millions of students throughout our city. Over the years, HSA’s aka parents are working to raise funds within schools, pulling from the community and other stakeholders to help their schools be successful. A testament to that continuous effort is the generous donation that the Julia Masterman school is giving to the School District tonight to cover the costs of extracurricular programs by providing funds for extracurricular salaries to the amount of $90,000.

I ask that you remember your experience as a student, if applicable, as a parent. Remember the value-add that comes with collaboration and unity when people work together to better our schools which better our communities and ultimately our city. No, we will not always see eye to eye. No, we will not always agree. But if what you say is true about your purpose for serving this city in this capacity then you and the members of the HSA’s are all working towards the same goal.

But remember for us, it’s personal… We are freely and diligently working for the most important cause – the betterment and success of our children.