440 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
May 9, 2012
As councilwoman Jannie Blackwell said today at the City Council meeting, “we have a School District that is all but broke.” This issue is quite evident to teachers across Philadelphia who cannot get supplies like paper, pencils, or markers without spending their own money. What is not so easily understood is how you are going to get some of that money back.
Today you argued for a plan to implement the Actual Value Initiative in order to garner $94 million for the ailing School District. This plan is fraught with controversy and seems like a political bungle in the making. Additionally, Thomas Knudsen is assuming more concessions by a Union that has already given many millions of dollars to the School District.
It seems to me that you are reaching into the wrong “pots” for needed money.
Councilman Curtis Jones said it best today: where is the State’s “heavy lift?” As stated in Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution: "The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth." Since 2002 the State has had a much larger hand in education in this city - we need to ensure that it pays enough to support it.
I urge you to use any and all responsible means necessary to make sure the students in Philadelphia are not disenfranchised due to lack of funding.
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