February 2014

PCAPS to protest Bill Green’s first SRC meeting

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Jesse Kudler

617-974-3684, jesse@fightforphilly.org

 

PCAPS to protest Bill Green’s first SRC meeting
Protesters will call for Green to listen to community, not corporate-backed “reformers”

Philadelphia, PA –Parents, teachers, students, and activists with the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) will rally on Thursday at the first School Reform Commission meeting since Bill Green was confirmed as chair.  Protesters will demand that Green heed community calls for full education funding, a fair contract for teachers, and real oversight of charter school growth.

Rather than fighting for more funding, restoring programs, or pushing for local control of schools, Bill Green announced this week that his first priority for schools is weakening teacher protections by changing their contract.  Green wants to pick a fight with educators rather than ally with them.

Green was nominated by Gov. Corbett and confirmed by the state Senate as SRC chair with no testimony from parents, teachers, or students.

Protesters will chant, hold signs, and turn their backs on Green to demand he listen to parents, teachers, and students.

Previous PCAPS statement on Bill Green’s appointment:
“Our biggest priority is to support neighborhood public schools and to make sure our schools get the resources they need from Harrisburg. We don’t think appointing Bill Green to head the SRC is a step in the right direction. Bill Green has a history of supporting vouchers and charter schools, which divert resources from our neighborhood schools. Ultimately, our goal is to replace the SRC, which has been flawed from the beginning and has plunged the district into debt and dysfunction, with local control. Our message to Bill Green: Don’t give up your day job.”

 

WHO:

Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS), parents, students

WHAT:

PCAPS and parents tell Bill Green where we stand!

WHEN:

Thursday, February 20, 4:30pm

WHERE:

School District Headquarters,  440 N. Broad St.

VISUAL:

Diverse crowd, signs, chants

 

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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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Activists to rally at Rep. Kampf’s office to protest education cuts, attack on working families

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Jesse Kudler

617-974-3684, jesse@fightforphilly.org

 

Activists to rally at Rep. Kampf’s office to protest education cuts, attack on working families

Families will urge a vote against HB 1507, which makes it harder for PA workers to fight for their rights

Philadelphia, PA – Dozens of activists will rally Thursday outside the office of Rep. Warren Kampf, urging him not to support the toxic HB 1507, which outlaws public workers like nurses and teachers from having their union dues and political contributions automatically deducted from their pay, even though it costs almost nothing and has been done for years.  HB 1507 is the beginning of a broader attack on working families in the state, supported by money from outside billionaires like the Koch brothers and right-wing organizations like ALEC.  It is part of Gov. Corbett’s attack on families, which includes massive cuts to education.

At a time when schools across the state lack proper funding, healthcare access is being denied to thousands of people, and our state desperately needs more good jobs, legislators are seriously considering making things even harder for working people.  HB 1507 is a politically-motivated attack on the very people that fight for the middle class across the state.

Activists will rally outside Representative Kampf’s office with signs, banners, and chants. 


WHO:

Working families, union members

WHAT:

Rally to tell Rep. Kampf not to support HB1507

WHEN:

Thursday, February 20, 11am

WHERE:

Office of Representative Warren Kampf, 42 East Lancaster Avenue, Paoli, PA 19301

VISUAL:

Diverse crowd, signs, chants

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Fight for Philly to rally at Toomey’s office in support of minimum wage increase

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jesse Kudler

617-974-3684, jesse@fightforphilly.org

 

Fight for Philly to rally at Toomey’s office in support of minimum wage increase
Protesters will call for Toomey to support plan to raise federal minimum wage to $10.10 as part of national week of action

Philadelphia, PA – Thursday afternoon, a group of Fight for Philly protesters will rally, chant, and carry signs to demand Sen. Pat Toomey join the majority of Americans in supporting an increase in the federal minimum wage.  Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman George Miller (D-CA) have introduced bills to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 and provide automatic annual increases indexed to inflation.

The federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009. It’s stuck at $7.25, which amounts to only $15,080 a year – far below the federal poverty line for a family of four. Meanwhile, CEO pay has risen 725% over the last 30 years, and 80% of all real income growth has gone to the richest 1 percent of Americans. If the federal minimum wage had kept up with inflation since 1968, the current minimum wage would actually be $10.71.

According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center and USA Today, 73% of the public favors raising the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, including 53% of of Republicans.  The Economic Policy Institute has found that “an increase to $10.10 would either directly or indirectly raise the wages of 27.8 million workers, who would receive about $35 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period.  GDP would grow by about $22 billion, resulting in the creation of roughly 85,000 net new jobs over that period.”

Protesters will chant, carry signs, and rally outside Sen. Toomey’s Philadelphia office to demand he support raising the federal minimum wage for the good of his state, workers, and the national economy.

WHO:

Fight for Philly, minimum wage workers

WHAT:

Demand Sen. Toomey support a minimum wage increase

WHEN:

Wednesday, February 19, 2:30pm

WHERE:

Sen. Toomey’s Philadelphia office, 1628 JFK Blvd.

VISUAL:

Diverse crowd, speaker, signs

 

 

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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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Take the survey! Who should run our schools?

Click here to take just a minute to fill out this survey and tell us what you would do to make our schools better moving forward.

As we all know, Philadelphia public schools have been struggling with Gov. Corbett’s massive budget cuts, leading to shortages in teachers, nurses, school staff, supplies, and more.  We’ve joined groups like PCAPS and others to vigorously protest what’s being done to Philadelphia schools.  But there is little local recourse right now because Philadelphia does not have full control of its own schools.

In 2001, the state took over the Philadelphia School District, creating the School Reform Commission (SRC).  The SRC is the board that governs Philadelphia schools, and a majority of its members are appointed by the governor.  The SRC also appoints the Philadelphia schools superintendent.

Do you want to have more local control of our schools?  As a parent or a resident of Philadelphia who cares about the city’s public schools, what are your concerns about Philadelphia education? How do you feel about the state-controlled Student Reform Commission (SRC)?

Click here to take just a minute to fill out this survey and tell us what you would do to make our schools better moving forward.

Click on the image below to begin the survey.

online-survey
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Feb. 4th 2014: “Too little, too late” for Gov’s Budget Proposal!

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“Too little, too late” for Gov’s Budget Proposal

photo 1(1)On February 4th, over fifty Fight for Philly community activists boarded a bus to Harrisburg to protest  Gov. Corbett’s annual budget address. Based on the governor’s record, we knew he’d have little good news for the people and plenty of help for big corporations, and we needed to tell him to change his priorities.  Hundreds of other activists from across the state met us at the State Capitol Building to share our message: the governor continues to put big business ahead of working families.

Activists packed the Capitol rotunda to protest the governor’s record of putting corporations before people and cutting vital programs for health and education.  Activists booed and shouted “Governor Corbett tells lies” and “Corporate Corbett” at the television sets airing the budget address. Activists also wore bright orange t-shirts that read “Governor Corporate” on the front, and “Whose side are you on?” on the back.  Later, we found out that people in the chamber where Corbett was speaking could hear us!

Corbett cut nearly $1 billion from education when he took office in 2011. $272 million was cut from the Philadelphia schools. In the governor’s new budget, he is promising to spend $386 million more on education, but this is only a fraction of what was cut.  He is also restricting the way districts can spend the money, adding nothing at all to basic education funding.  Instead, he is proposing one-time fixes and block grants that don’t do much to help budgets. Many education activists say his proposals primarily benefit wealthy districts.

Corbett’s proposal will bring only $29 million in new money to Philadelphia schools, which does very little to restore programs and services lost from the previous budget cuts.  Additional funds for public schools are certainly beneficial, but these funds will not go back into the classroom. Giving schools more money only for special programs instead of basic education is one of Governor Corbett’s gimmicks to better his chances of re-election.

The governor’s decision to increase funding for education is too little, too late. Philadelphia schools have struggled all year, but students and teachers have been resilient. Three of Philadelphia’s best performing high schools exceeded expectations despite the governor’s cuts to school staff and counselors.

Many saw through Governor Corbett’s budget gimmicks. “Corbett’s budget proposal just confirmed for me that he doesn’t care about Philadelphia kids and is proposing a tiny increase in funding just to look good for re-election,” said Fight for Philly member and parent Tara Tillman.  State senator Vincent Hughes, the ranking Democrat on the state Senate Appropriations Committee, panned Corbett’s budget speech. “Pretty weak budget presentation,” Hughes said afterward.  “Failed on job creation, failed on education.”

Pennsylvania working families have to keep fighting against the governor’s attacks. Thanks to activists like us making sure everyone knows what he’s doing, the governor’s approval rating is a mere 23%, and he is considered one of the most vulnerable GOP governors in the country. Pennsylvania has a real chance of dumping the Corbett agenda this year.

Check out this awesome video of activists rocking the Capitol rotunda!

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Jan. 17, 2014: Governor Runs From Mess He Created with Schools

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Dec. 16, 2013: PCAPS talks to Sen. Williams about charter school reform

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Dec. 10, 2013: Reclaim Public Education

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Nov. 19, 2013:Tom Corbett: Turkey of the Year!

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