For Immediate Release
Friday, October 11, 2013
Fifth PCAPS Full Funding Fridays events this morning
Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools continues to expand Friday events with rallies at eight schools to keep up pressure for proper funding for education
Philadelphia, PA – Friday morning, the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) will hold its fifth event as part of the Full Funding Fridays campaign, rallying at eight city schools. Parents and activists will join school staff to rally, hand out signs and pins, and speak about the need for more funding for Philadelphia public schools. Ralliers will also have complaint forms for parents to fill out about problematic school conditions and flyers to contact elected officials with complaints.
At Jenks Elementary, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan will join teachers, staff, and activists. Jenks recently lost an additional teacher due to “leveling” (changes to staffing after student populations have stabilized for the year), meaning that students at the school will only be in classes that combine multiple grade-levels in one room. Before the year began, the K-4 already lost one full-time teacher, a part-time teacher, its counselor, four noontime aids and two Support Service Assistants.
At Northeast High School, there is only one counselor for nearly 3,000 students. The popular Project Space Research Center (SPARC) program, which has been recognized and praised by NASA, has been left unfunded. There is no librarian. The school district will no longer covers exam costs for Advanced Placement classes in a school where over 60% of the students are from low-income households.
At Kelly Elementary, a secretary was laid off. Support staff have been pulled from working with children in the classrooms to aid in the office. The school’s counselor must double as a nurse and also service four classes with severely disabled children, in addition to duties with the general student body. With major supply shortages, Kelly depends on donations from parents and teachers to keep going.
After surrounding schools closed, Rhodes Elementary went from a middle school to a K-8 school. Despite this new influx of students, Rhodes Elementary has no guidance counselor, no Student Support Assistants, and a school nurse only three days a week. At Willard Elementary, six teachers have been lost, and class sizes have risen as a result. A bi-lingual counselor, a vice principal, and student support aids were also laid off. Willard’s brand new library with new books is closed because there is no librarian. At Girard Elementary, a well‐stocked library sits unused because there is no librarian. Books and materials are unavailable. Four student support assistants who worked in classrooms have been laid off. At Mastbaum High School, counseling staff has been cut in half. This makes it extremely difficult for students get the help they need to get into college or advanced vocational programs. One secretary was cut, forcing the principal to help out answering phones. With inadequate levels of school police and support personnel in a six floor building, staff is hard pressed to provide security. At Sayre Elementary, the school has lost three counselors, two assistant principals, a dean, and all five hallway aides. 100 laptops were stolen this year. A nurse is available only two days a week. The library is now closed.
Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) and school staff
||Full Funding Fridays Actions, week five
||Friday, October 11, 2013, 7:15 and 7:45am
A.S. Jenks, 2501 S. 13th St., 7:45am (primary location for press)
Sayre High School, 5800 Walnut St., 7:15am
Mastbaum AVT High School, 3116 Frankford Ave., 7:15am
E. Washington Rhodes Elementary School, 2900 W. Clearfield St., 7:45am
Northeast High School, 1601 Cottman Ave., 7:15am
John B Kelly Elementary School, 5116 Pulaski Ave., 7:45am
Stephen Girard Elementary School, 1800 Snyder Ave., 7:30am
Willard Elementary School, 1930 E. Elkhart St., 7:45am
||Speakers, pins, signs, complaint forms, ralliers, parents
PCAPS is a coalition of students, parents, and teachers with an unwavering commitment to improving Philadelphia’s school system. Members of the coalition include ACTION United, American Federation of Teachers PA, AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Fight For Philly, Jewish Labor Committee, Jobs With Justice, JUNTOS, Media Mobilizing Project, Occupy Philadelphia Labor Work Group, Philadelphians Allied for a Responsible Economy(PHARE), Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Philadelphia Home and School Council, Philadelphia Student Union, SEIU 32BJ, UNITE HERE, Youth United for Change.
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