December 2013

PCAPS holiday protest will target Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP)

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 1:30pm

Jihad Seifullah

614-390-1105, pcapscoordinator@gmail.com

Jesse Kudler

617-974-3684, jesse@fightforphilly.org

 

PCAPS holiday protest will target Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP)

Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools will challenge private reform group to provide more transparency, give more funds to public schools

Philadelphia, PA – Parents and activists with the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools will visit the offices of the Philadelphia School Partnership and two of its board members Wednesday in a holiday-themed protest to demand the education “reform” group provide greater transparency and access and support public education.  Protesters will sing carols urging support for public education and deliver a holiday “wish list” including letting PCAPS attend PSP board meetings where crucial public school policy is discussed, opening up board meetings to the public, allowing a public school parent or student on the PSP board, and funding public education.

PSP is a financially well-endowed public school “reform” group that pushes charter schools, privatization, and secret decision-making about our schools.  It has been implicated most recently in a secret contract to SRC member Sylvia Sims for organizing and advocacy work.  PSP also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for work by the Boston Consulting Group on its notorious public schools blueprint, prescribing massive school closings, layoffs, and privatization.  PSP supported Gov. Corbett’s withholding of $50 million in federal funds for Philadelphia public schools at the start of this school year.  The group made robocalls in support of Corbett’s plan.  PSP has been a major force in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania school policy but has demonstrated little transparency or public accountability.  PSP has millions of dollars it has raised from foundations and private donors that could go towards public education.

After caroling at PSPS’s office,  PCAPS will visit the office of Evelyn W. McNiff, President of Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia who “lives outside of Philadelphia,” according to PSP’s website.  They will then travel to the office of Drexel President John Fry. Fry was recently in the news for being paid more than $1million in total compensation in 2011.  Fry is also CEO of Drexel e-Learning, Inc., Drexel’s for-profit subsidiary marketing online Drexel degree programs.  Fry joined Gov. Corbett on a controversial trade trip to South America in April, joining various Corbett corporate fundraisers.

WHO:

Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS), parents, community members

WHAT:

PCAPS holiday caroling to Philadelphia Schools Partnership Office and offices of board members

WHEN:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 1:30pm (bus leaves 846 N. Broad St. at 1pm)

WHERE:

Philadelphia Schools Partnership office, 150 South Independence Mall W (between 6th and 7th on Chestnut), Philadelphia, PA 19106; office of PSP board member Evelyn McNiff, Children’s Scholarship Fund, 100 South Broad Street, Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19110; office of PSP board member and Drexel President John Fry, 3141 Chestnut Street, Suite 103, Philadelphia, PA 19104

VISUAL:

Holiday-themed performances, caroling. signs, diverse crowd

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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, Neighborhood Networks, 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.

http://www.wearepcaps.org

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PCAPS talks to Sen. Williams about charter school reform

Bbovf4LIcAAYHGLOn Monday, December 16, Fight for Philly joined Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) in a meeting and rally at the office of State Senator Anthony Williams. PCAPS requested a meeting to talk to the senator about his support for Senate Bill 1085, the “Charter School NON-Reform” bill.  We think SB 1085 will do the opposite of providing the real reform Pennsylvania’s charter school system needs and will instead make it even easier for unaccountable charter schools to grow.  The bill would cut state funding for charter pension costs and make local school districts make up the difference.  It would remove caps on charter school enrollments, leading to unrestricted charter expansion without local community input.  It also strips language requiring charter schools to be models of innovation for public schools, eliminating their intended purpose as laboratories for new teaching methods.

Senator Williams is the only Democratic co-sponsor of the bill and the only one from Philadelphia.

PCAPS is also concerned with provisions of SB 1085 that require direct payment to charter schools, require ten year charter school renewals, and require all school districts to make their “strategic vision for chartering” available on their public websites.  Under state funding trends, these provisions would severely impact school district budgets at a time when districts are struggling financially.

Senator Williams listened politely to our concerns but wouldn’t cancel his sponsorship of SB1085.  He also told us he won’t end his support for removing caps on charter school enrollments.  So we’re still lobbying him and asking you to help.  Sen.  Williams should be focused on getting more resources and funding for the Philadelphia schools instead of pushing the agenda of corporate backers and un-proven charters.

Help us keep up the fight for public education!  Sign here to demand the Senator drop his support of SB 1085 and invest in public education!

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PCAPS continues to oppose SB 1085 after meeting with State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

Monday, December 16, 2013

Jihad Seifullah

614-390-1105, pcapscoordinator@gmail.com

Jesse Kudler

617-974-3684, jesse@fightforphilly.org

PCAPS to meet with State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams to urge him to drop support for SB 1085

Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools to voice opposition to charter school bill that would weaken oversight, cost local school districts.

Philadelphia, PA – Parents and activists with the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools will meet with PA Sen. Anthony H. Williams Monday to ask Williams to drop his support of the controversial SB 1085, the “Charter School Reform” bill.  Williams is the only Democratic co-sponsor of the bill and the only one from Philadelphia.  Activists will rally outside during and after the meeting to show support for true charter school reform, not the problematic SB 1085.

SB 1085 purports to bring much-needed reform to Pennsylvania charter schools, but it does more harm than good.  The bill would remove caps on charter school enrollments, leading to unrestricted charter expansion without local community input.  It also strips language requiring charter schools to be models of innovation for public schools, eliminating their intended purpose as laboratories for new teaching methods.

PCAPS opposes provisions of SB 1085 that allow additional entities to grant charters. These provisions of the bill greatly disenfranchise communities from public education by allowing appointed entities to govern public schools.  PCAPS is also concerned with provisions of SB 1085 that require direct payment to charter schools, require ten year charter school renewals, and require all school districts to make their “strategic vision for chartering” available on their public websites.  Under state funding trends, these provisions would severely impact school district budgets at a time when districts are struggling financially.

PCAPS will share these concerns with Sen. Williams and urge him to drop his support for SB 1085 in its current form.  Parents and supporters will speak directly to the senator to share their concerns with him.  They will then join a rally for public education outside the senator’s office at 3:30pm.

WHO:

Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS), parents, community members

WHAT: PCAPS meeting with State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams to urge him to drop support for  SB 1085, rally
WHEN: Monday, December 16, 2013, 3:30pm
WHERE: Sen. Williams District Office, 2901 Island Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19153
VISUAL: Signs, diverse crowd

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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, Neighborhood Networks, 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.

http://www.wearepcaps.org

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Reclaim Public Education

PCAPSOn December 9, Philadelphia joined over 90 other cities across the country in a national day of action to reclaim public education.  More than a hundred students, teachers, parents, community members and labor activists rallied in front of Governor Corbett’s downtown office, demanding a fair funding formula for Philadelphia public schools.

The root of Philadelphia’s public school crisis is massive spending cuts made by Governor Corbett.  The governor cut nearly $1 billion from state-wide education funding when he took office, including $272 million in cuts to Philadelphia since 2011.  This is the deepest per pupil cut in the state.

The “Day of Action to Reclaim the Promise of Public Education” was designed to highlight the lack of investment in public education across the country.  Cuts to urban public education are damaging communities and the futures of children.  In Philadelphia, activists “took the street,” marching up Broad Street, holding signs in support of Philadelphia public education, and chanting against Corbett.  Activists then rallied in front of the Philadelphia office of Loop Capitol, at 2 Penn Center.  The Chicago-based investment bank has been blamed for harmful swaps deals that drained money from Chicago schools and is now involved in the deal to sell off and privatize Philadelphia Gas Works.

Public school parent and community activist Kia Hinton told the crowd, “Our most vulnerable children, the ones in my neighborhood, in low income neighborhoods, are the ones that are being affected the most. So we have to fight for our children’s education.”

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Fight for Philly Activists to protest Gov. Corbett in Drexel Hill

Fight for Philly Activists to protest Gov. Corbett in Drexel Hill

Over fifty protesters to tell governor he needs to “Give Back” at “Main Line Gives Back Awards”

Philadelphia, PA Tuesday, December 3rd, over fifty protesters will travel from the Fight for Philly office to Drexel Hill to protest Governor Tom Corbett. The governor will be the keynote speaker at the Main Line Chamber of Commerce’s “Main Line Gives Back Awards.”  The Main Line Chamber of Commerce represents business interests in Delaware, Chester and Montgomery counties and helps promote businesses in the region.  “It looks out for their interests in dealing with government,” according to the group’s website.

Fight for Philly will be joined by members of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Action United, Food and Water Watch Pennsylvania, and others.  They will protest the governor for all he has done to hurt citizens across the state, including slashing education funding, ending vital programs like Adult Basic and General Assistance, refusing to expand Medicaid, and putting big business ahead of people. 

Protesters will call for the governor who has taken so much from PA families to “give back” crucial programs and full fair funding for education.  They will hold signs telling the governor to stop taking from citizens to fund a pro-corporate agenda.

 

WHO:

Fight for Philly activists, Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Action United, Food and Water Watch Pennsylvania

WHAT:

Protesting Gov. Corbett at Main Line Chamber of Commerce’s “Main Line Gives Back Awards”: Governor, stop taking from PA!

WHEN:

Tuesday, December 3, 5:30pm [Leaving from Fight for Philly office (846 N. Broad) at 4:15pm]

WHERE:

Drexelbrook, 4700 Drexelbrook Dr., Drexel Hill, PA 19026

VISUAL:

Diverse and energetic crowd of protesters, colorful signs, interviews

 

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Fight for Philly is a grassroots organization fighting for good schools, good jobs, a fair economy, and a city that works for all of us.

info@fightforphilly.org * (215) 232-3792 * http://fightforphilly.org

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