440 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
May 15, 2012
Dear members of the School Reform Commission,
As you have pointed out numerous times the financial crisis that has hit the country, state, and Philadelphia has had continued fallout in the School District. Non-teaching aides and support staff all over the city have been laid off, fostering increased problems in our buildings. All the while there are still people working in the central offices who have had hands in helping create this crisis today. I was relieved to find out that Michael Masch will no longer be receiving a paycheck from the budget because, in my mind, he was a part of creating the problem.
But the continuation of this problem is even worse: losing support staff means there are fewer eyes in the hallways of our schools. While my students are not generally behavior problems there has still been an increase in issues during transitions between classes and around the cafeteria. I can only imagine the headaches at larger schools like Northeast High School and George Washington High School. With over 2000 students roaming in and out of classrooms there are bound to be issues.
I understand paychecks and contracts are important but what I have seen is a lot of money going toward projects that are not so fruitful. The Boston Consulting Group provided a model of schools very similar to one created in-house by Penny Nixon and her staff. Unless I am incorrect, it seems like the $1.5 million price tag was not worth it.
Instead, that money could be used to reinstate people working in our buildings. It could be used to purchase supplies for classrooms and make sure our students can remain safe and in high-achieving schools, as you have stated you desire. Please consider this request: use money wisely and provide for the outcomes you really want.
One Letter Per Day Campaign