On 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.”