We are here tonight to celebrate the beginning of the end of the SRC. Thank you to the teachers, parents, OCOS members, PFT members who made this happen.
We are going to keep up the fight to have schools that serve the best interests of our children. We are going to fight against the closing of any more neighborhood schools. We are going to fight the charter expansion that diverts more and more funding away from public schools. We are going to fight the back door deals of the edu-vendors who are given lucrative contracts so their CEOs and stockholders can profit off of our children. We are going to fight to shut down the failing charters that the SRC has illegally funded for over a year and a half—including the Aspira and Universal schools.
We are going to continue to fight for the fair treatment of the people who work every day, under very difficult circumstances, to educate our children. Paying people a professional wage and fair benefits, and ensuring that they work in safe conditions, is not fiscally irresponsible.
What is fiscally irresponsible is spending $10 million for unproven programs like blended learning and personalized learning so that our kids can be used as guinea pigs. Fiscally irresponsible is paying outside law firms millions of dollars to prosecute whistle-blowers and to appeal these cases long after they should have been settled. Fiscally irresponsible is spending millions on standardized tests instead of school librarians and classroom aids and NTAs. Fiscally irresponsible is approving Deep Roots charter despite overwhelming evidence that their depth of knowledge about education is laughable. Fiscally irresponsible is awarding generous consulting contracts to Cambridge Education and Temple University to do what the Cambridge representative at Penn Treaty last night called a “snapshot” of that and five other schools. When parents asked him how they could come to conclusions about what students were learning, after spending only two days in the building and no more than 15 minutes in a handful of classrooms, he said, and I quote, “This is not a scientific study.” But they will collect the $100K the SRC voted to pay them anyway.
This is the beginning of a new era for Philadelphia. APPS members will continue to speak out on the spending priorities of the district which put the interests of private companies ahead of those of our students and families. And we will be fighting to stop the disenfranchisement of the people of the city so that we have the same voting rights as every other district in the state