In the background of all this is the current political situation: former City Councilman Bill Green has been tapped to become the leader of the School Reform Commission (the state-created body in control of the school system) and was sworn in yesterday. Superintendent Hite also released his updated version of the Action Plan, which has many ramifications for upcoming years in the city. And just today he announced the need for $320 million for schools to open well next year. Obviously, this hearkens back to last year's request for a similar amount and the reliance on negotiations with the teacher's union to concede certain benefits and save money over time. Meanwhile, some citizens are pushing for a replacement of the SRC with an elected school board.
What is more important to recognize and realize here is that the locus of power in Philadelphia's education system is in flux right now and there is some uncertainty in where it could go. Will the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers concede and reduce its benefits to its members? Will the SRC be abolished and replaced with more local control? What does this new Action Plan mean for the city?
All these questions are important ones and Philadelphia will continue to be an important battleground in the conflicts surrounding the corporate reform movement. I look forward to seeing teachers and local citizens get more involved to make their city better.