The Education Action Committee believes that every child should have access to high-quality education; that we need to rebuild our school infrastructure, provide adequate supplies, help train and retain high-quality teachers; and that adequate funding can be found for our City’s educational needs by making the wealthy and large nonprofits pay their fair share of taxes.
This committee is still under construction, so we're looking for dedicated and inspired volunteers to help us set the foundation for this initiative.
Our Latest Causes
Speaker Suppression at the Board of Education
Speaker Suppression at Board of Education meetings reinforces the need for an elected school board committed to community input. Prior to the pandemic the Board of Education had been restricting parent and community participation. They eliminated three of their committees and in January implemented Speaker Procedures that capped the number of Adult speakers to 30 and reduced testimonies from 3 to 2 minutes. Many of the action items the Board discusses now have no community input due to these restrictions. Having no Speaker Policy allows the Board to change their Speaker rules from meeting to meeting.
Our allies, APPS along with UrbEd, a youth-led organization, are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU challenging the legality of these changes. At the September action meeting President Joyce Wilkerson changed the agenda so parents and community had to wait for 3 1/2 hours before testifying. Half the speakers were unable to testify. The community wants to be heard and have a voice in decision making . Philadelphia is the only school district in PA that does not elect its school board.
Fully Funded Schools
Fairly and fully funding our public schools by the state is an ongoing problem. Most of the neediest school districts in PA are underfunded, especially those with large student populations of color. The state of Pennsylvania is third from the bottom in funding for education. The Public Interest Law Center and the Education Law Center are involved in a lawsuit on this matter. The plaintiffs are the NAACP and rural school groups.
Safe and Healthy Schools
Issues of safe and healthy school buildings are intertwined with the Hite administration’s privatization agenda that has included closing district managed schools and allowing the expansion of underperforming charter schools. The maintenance of school buildings has been neglected for many years. As a result, there have been numerous issues of lead paint, asbestos, mold, etc. Instead of spending money on building repairs, money has been spent on outsourcing professional development, scripted curriculums, behavior programs, transportation services, and substitute teacher staffing. School safety should be a priority.
Transparent Succession Process
Presently the search is on for the next superintendent. Will the Board agree to a transparent process that supports genuine parent, school staff, and community involvement or will this become another decision made behind closed doors? There is an opportunity for some real change that includes the community.