PHILADELPHIA–“After years of taking programs and services away from the children at Jay Cooke and Huey Elementary schools, the District has decided to give these schools to charter school companies rather than make the investment necessary to fix them.
“Since 2011, Cooke and Huey have lost teachers, counselors and other staff; and have endured deep cuts to funding for extracurricular activities, books and materials. As is the case with schools across Philadelphia, the District has made matters worse by failing to fill teacher vacancies, and paying Source4Teachers millions for not providing substitutes.
“There is simply no justification for giving up on its neighborhood schools, and the District’s criteria for giving these schools away is nebulous, at best. For example, Wister Elementary, though no longer on the list for conversion, was slated to be given away despite large gains on the School Progress Report.
“The District is simply holding fast to the now-defunct ‘No Child Left Behind’ reform model: withhold the resources schools need to provide children with counselors, teachers, nurses, librarians, art, music and other essential offerings. Then, when student achievement falters, use it as an excuse to outsource the education of our children to outside firms.
“The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is calling on the School Reform Commission to vote ‘no’ on these conversions. Our city’s elected leaders, parents and educators have a better vision for our schools. It’s time for the District to abandon their ‘starve-and-sell’ philosophy and instead work to bring the community school model to Philadelphia.”