440 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
May 17, 2012
Dear members of the School Reform Commission,
According to a recent headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Tom Corbett is “open to spending more” on the budget than he had originally proposed. As citizens of Philadelphia and leaders of the School Reform Commission, it is your responsibility to capitalize on this moment and lobby for change in our school system. Recognizing that a lot of what you are requested (more financial concessions from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, increased tax revenue from the city) is quite controversial and no guarantee, it seems that now is the time to build support for a large lobby on the Pennsylvania State Legislature to bring back the funding our school system truly needs.
As you have all mentioned many times before, there is a looming deficit of $218 million for the next fiscal year. While I do think deficit spending sometimes has a purpose, our city would be in a much better position to refocus our energies on education if we knew there was more financial support.
At a recent meeting one Commissioner mentioned that increasing enrollment at high-achieving schools should not yield negative results. I disagree. With funding issues and roster restrictions (as well as capacity limitations in buildings) the increased size may very well be a tipping point of sorts. More students walking through the hallways decreases visibility to support staff like School Police Officers and Non-Teaching Assistants. This could be just what is needed to diminish the “safeness” we often feel in school.
Please consider this an opportunity. We will back you in pushing Governor Corbett for more.
One Letter Per Day Campaign