PCAPS to rally and canvass in support of neighborhood school parents and students fighting charter conversion

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ron Whitehorne, 215-779-2672, ronw292@gmail.com

Jesse Kudler, 617-974-3684, jesse@fightforphilly.org

PCAPS to rally and canvass in support of neighborhood school parents and students fighting charter conversion
Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools and supporters will also collect petition signatures for local control and voter pledges for candidates who support education

PhiladelphiaSaturday, The Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools will join parents, students, school staff, and community members to rally and canvass in support of keeping the Munoz-Marin school a district school, rather than turning it over to ASPIRA, a charter school operator.

Speakers will voice opposition to the Philadelphia School District’s proposal to convert Marin to a Renaissance Charter, giving its management over to ASPIRA.  Charterization costs the district an estimated $3000-$4000 extra per student, but none of that money goes to classrooms.  A conversion would also mean that teachers would lose their jobs and have to re-apply to the charter school.   Charter schools also operate without the financial or administrative transparency and accountability that traditional public schools guarantee.

After the rally, English and Spanish-speaking volunteers will canvass the pre-dominantly-Latino surrounding Kensington neighborhood to talk to parents about the May 1st vote on the future of the school.  As part of a PCAPS campaign to mobilize 25,000 Philadelphia education voters for the November election, canvassers will also be asking registered voters to sign a petition to have a non-binding referendum question to abolish the School Reform Commission and return Philadelphia schools to local control added to the November ballot.  And they will carry a pledge card for voters to support candidates who promise fully funded, quality education for all Pennsylvanians.

ASPIRA’s founder Antonia Pantoja was once a strong advocate for unions, but ASPIRA has spent S17,000 of tax payer money on hiring lawyers to keep a union out of Olney High School.  ASPIRA has been repeatedly charged with unfair labor practices. As of June, 2012, Aspira owed its schools $3.3 million, according to an independent audit of the organization’s finances, meaning that money is being kept out of the classroom.

WHO:

Marin parents, school staff, students; ASPIRA teacher from Olney high school; PCAPS supporters

WHAT:

Rally and canvass to keep Munoz-Marin public, canvass to abolish the SRC and return Philadelphia schools to local control

WHEN:

Saturday, April 26th, 10am,  rain or shine

WHERE:

Munoz Marin school, 3300 N. 3rd St.   Rally will be at NW corner.

VISUAL:

Diverse crowd of students and parents, speakers, petitions

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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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