The Fight for Education

On Monday, October 6th, the School Reform Commission (SRC) cancelled the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ (PFT) contract, costing teachers their health care benefits. This is yet another destructive act in a long line of attacks on Philadelphia’s public schools. The SRC and Governor Corbett have eliminated jobs, school programs, plus 24 schools. Yet, at the same time, Corbett is advocating for $1.7 billion in tax breaks for Shell Oil. The big business plans to build a plant in Beaver County that is expected to rank in the top ten air polluters. Philadelphia schools and our environment are breaking under the burden of these big business tax breaks. Teachers are being told it is their time to make sacrifices but they have been sacrificing all along with limited resources, over crowded classrooms and fulfilling extra roles such as counselor and nurse due to lack of funding for full time staff.

Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign will not stand by as Philadelphia becomes ground zero for the elimination of public education. We are very proud of the students, teachers, parents, and community members that continue to protest alongside PPEHRC during these important demonstrations. There is no change without the people uniting together and demanding for it! The people united will never be divided and we will win!

Photo Credit: Harvey Finkle

 On September 11th, PPEHRC, Kensington CAPA and Moffet School students, parents, teachers and community members came together in North Philly to fight for the funding our schools need and deserve! The action was part of the PCAPS Week of Resistance. We believe that as students and teachers return to school this year, we can not allow this bare bones education to become “the new normal” in our city.

Photo Credit: Harvey Finkle

Photo Credit: Harvey Finkle

On October 9th, PPEHRC stood with parents, students, and teachers to demand that Governor Corbett explain himself and provide full funding for our schools. They shut down the elevators, blocked our access to the Governor and kicked out the media. They even went as far as to arrest Cheri Honkala, National Coordinator of PPEHRC and parent of a student at Julia R. Masterman School who attempted to deliver a citizens arrest against the governor for crimes against education and our children.

On October 15th, The Philly Coalition Advocating for Public Schools organized a press conference in front of the headquarters of the School district of Philadelphia in response to the SRC’s decision. During this press conference, Cheri Honkala’s message was clear: “don’t mess with our babies’ education!”

Photo Credit: Harvey Finkle

Photo Credit: Harvey Finkle

On October 16th, thousands of teachers, parents, students, and community supporters gathered in front of the headquarters of the School district of Philadelphia to continue to protest against the SRC’s decision. During the protest, Cheri Honkala testified in front of the SRC to address the cancelation of teacher’s contracts along with 59 other speakers.

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