Education: Community Blames City; City Blames State; State Blame Governor, Whatever
By Christopher “Flood the Drummer”® Norris
8.13.13: Philadelphia– (Education/Politics): Less than twenty-four (24) hours after clergy leaders threatened to boycott the School District of Philadelphia unless the city and state raise $180 million to open school safely, the State Delegation – led by Senator Hardy Williams – held a private Press Conference at City Hall this morning to demand the Governor release the one-time $45 million grant to the city of Philadelphia.
Senator Hardy Williams stated during the news conference that before coming to City Council and the Mayor for ideas on how to fund the $50 million dollars, “it was the state’s responsibility.” Admitting that they struggled for months trying to figure out how to generate revenue for the eighth largest school district in the country, Williams adds “we have not fulfilled our obligations.” (WATCH)
Williams made it very clear that they want the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to make an executive decision and release the funds, saying Bob Brady negotiated this deal in good faith with the administration and “he expects the deal to go through without conditions.”
Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Vincent Hughes said the governor has walked away from basic education and it has materialized itself the most in Philadelphia.
No mention of the boycott was made, as Representative Cherelle L. Parker said “I’ll leave it up to Council President Darrell Clarke, the Mayor and Councilwoman Blackwell; they’ll figure out what to do with the dollars governed and controlled by the city.”
The Mayor is asking the Teacher’s Union to come to table. Nutter was quoted as saying:
“I want to emphasize that our labor unions still play a huge role in shaping what our schools can look like this fall. On the labor side, these are essentially the only adults at the table who so far have yet to financially contribute to a solution for this crisis. It is time for the PFT to step up!”
PFT fired back today with a letter that in part reads:
“We were shocked and offended at your statement that the PFT hasn’t “stepped up” to deal with our school district’s financial crisis. The truth is, our schools have been underfunded for years, and it is teachers and school employees who have provided students with the tools, classroom supplies and other things that the district could not afford to provide for them. Now, not only are we being asked to continue making these sacrifices, we are being asked to take a pay cut to pay for a mess that WE DIDN’T MAKE! We do everything we can for our students. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year out of our own pockets to keep our classrooms running. It is unfair and insensitive of you to suggest that we are somehow responsible for our schools budget crisis. Without us, our schools would be in even worse financial shape!”
With a little more than 72 hours until Dr. Hite’s deadline, sadly Philadelphia the day ends how it began, with no good news.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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