According to the School District of Philadelphia Policies, “The SRC, in accordance with its statutory mandate, shall adopt policies for its own operation and the guidance of the Superintendent in the operation of the school district. SRC policies shall be consistent with law, have a rational and substantial relationship to a legitimate purpose of the Commission, and be directed towards the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education in this district.” Now, the SRC is threatening to control the city’s taxes if city council cannot come to a decision about the proposed 1% sales tax increase.
This places the SRC in a position of power that is ethically against its main purpose outlined on the SDP website. Why is an education entity attempting to control an aspect of city governance? It is the best interest of the city of Philadelphia for Harrisburg, city council, and the School District of Philadelphia to work out their differences for the benefit of educating our children. Unfortunately, this is just more evidence that the purpose of the SRC is not to protect and provide equitable education. Philadelphia is receiving national attention because the school district is underfunded and in peril. Governor Corbett publicly announced that 45 million is available but will not be paid until the Philadelphia Teacher Union concessions are approved. One that will include a 13% salary cut and contributions to benefits. If this is not clear, a teacher earning $55,000 will earn $47,850. The teachers have no right to strike and only the SRC can vote for any and all major decisions affecting the plight of district led public schools. We have been headed for this Armageddon since 2001 when the state took the school district over.
Parents United for Public Education continues to ask for claims from parents to collect a paper trail of unsafe conditions at the schools, but it is not a lawsuit. It is hope in the middle of a never ending trail of darkness and dread. The time is now to create a political process that will replace the current governor and SRC with something that works in the best interest of ALL children. There has to be a way for Philadelphia to be more of a threat to the status quo that Harrisburg continue to dish out.
Parents, please continue to complete claim forms. The link is here for more information. Advocates and educators continue to not give in to concessions that may lessen the quality of life for those who work every day for the benefit of our children. Look to Chicago and see how that did not work out for them. Union members continue to reach out to younger and new teachers to explain how vital your presence is and why it is important that unions are not disbanded or destroyed. These are some suggestions, but I do not have all of the answers and my daughter is at the center of this maelstrom.