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Philly fires nearly 4,000 teachers and district employees. What will Weingarten do?

June 8, 2013

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Good statement. What will she do?

Philadelphia has announced the lay-offs of 3,700 school district employees.

AFT President Randi Weingarten issued this statement:

“What was Superintendent Hite brought in to do? Mass close schools even though it makes the corridors and streets less safe for kids and destabilizes neighborhoods? Make draconian budget cuts that strip schools of nurses, libraries, guidance counselors, art, music and after-school activities, and rob children of the rich learning experience they deserve? And now impose nearly 3,800 layoffs so that public schools can’t function?

“This is a travesty. We are watching before our very eyes the evisceration of public education in the City of Brotherly Love. And instead of an all-hands-on-deck approach, instead of investing in our children’s futures, we see Gov. Corbett and Mayor Nutter sit on their hands while Superintendent Hite and the School Reform Commission have the gall to strip our schools to the bone and blame the very people who work closest with kids—the very people who devote their lives to helping children achieve their dreams. Where are the priorities of the governor, the mayor, the superintendent and the SRC? Certainly not with the children of Philadelphia.”

Jerry Jordan, the President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers issue this statement:

“Today we are seeing what a ‘doomsday’ budget looks like for Philadelphia’s schoolchildren, and how our city’s educators are paying the price for a deficit we didn’t create. The nearly 4,000 layoffs announced today represent not only hard-working educators who face the very real prospect of joining the ranks of the city’s unemployed, but the loss of essential programs that our children need to receive a quality public education. 

“The school district will say that these layoffs are a tough but necessary part of financial rightsizing. We say that these cuts are an unconscionable action that deprives children of sports, art, music, counselors, librarians, nurses and other vital programs and services. The impact of these layoffs will hurt our city’s poorest children, the ones who rely most on public education to provide a foothold to a better future. 

“These cuts are beyond unnecessary—they amount to an immoral act that no Philadelphia taxpayer should tolerate. Everyone who is able to should join us in Harrisburg on June 25 as we demand that our elected leaders do their jobs and properly fund public education. 

“It’s time to stop balancing the budget on the backs of school employees and students. It’s time to move away from year after year of deficit emergencies and cutbacks. It’s time to move toward a funding formula that adequately and consistently supports high quality public education for our children.” 

Good statements.

Now.

What will they do?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Arthur Goldstein permalink
    June 8, 2013 2:30 pm

    Unfortunately, this is the way the entire country seems to be moving. The fanatical reformies have got the ear of the American President, and various governors. The label Democrat seems to mean little or nothing as the reformies continue on their quest to eviscerate the inconvenient 20th century.

    I don’t think I could invent this, and I can’t believe I see it happening before my own eyes.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    June 8, 2013 5:20 pm

    What will they do? They’ll get behind the next “school reform” panacea that comes along, that’s what.

  3. Zorro permalink
    June 8, 2013 7:11 pm

    Having taught 11 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District before being laid off and never hired back in 2011, I’d first like to extend my sympathy to the 4,000 Philadelphia teachers who now find themselves in a similar situation.

    This is not just coincidental with the school closings in Chicago, the layoffs in Los Angeles and elsewhere, and the variety of state versions of the “parent trigger law” that are now part of our educational landscape.

    This is part of a national corporate agenda to privatize public education, deprofessionalize teaching and mine what Rupert Murdoch identified as a largely untapped $500 billion market.

    it’s time for teachers, parents, and students to say enough is enough. It’s time for the Walton Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation and their corporate schills to get out of education and stay out.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    June 8, 2013 7:50 pm

    Are there school closings involved here or just layoffs? This is a big number!
    What does “deprofessionalize” mean?

  5. Joni Lindgren permalink
    June 9, 2013 10:41 am

    Here’s a good word to use: “infiltrate”…this is what the wackos have been doing to our political system. The wackos have been backed by Rove and the Koch Brothers to spew caustic and ridiculous lies. Until we run those of reason and those who use statistics to back their statements, this is what we’re going to get.

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