The elites’ plans are in place to close 40 schools, break the teacher and janitorial unions, and put the education of the City of Philadelphia’s children up for bid. It just makes me sick.
I knew it was coming (when you see the Democratic city councilman expected to be the next mayor praising Michelle Rhee and philanthro-capitalists like the Gates Foundation, it’s only a matter of time), but I never expected it to happen this fast. It feels like a kick to the gut.
Our schools were taken over by the state in 2001 (you can read the gruesome history here) and instead we’re run by a five-person School Reform Commission. (The governor gets to appoint three members, the mayor gets to appoint two.) And even though the reason for declining results may have more to so with the fact that the state contribution to public education has dropped from 55 percent in 1975 to 36 percent in 2001, the hillbilly politicians in the Pennsyltucky parts of the state have done a fine job convincing voters outside the more educated areas that funding schools in Philadelphia is throwing money down a “black hole.” (Emphasis on the word “black,” since color plays a very large part in these funding decisions.)
Here’s the thing: It’s not the school district’s fault that Pennsylvania funds its schools through an inequitable system of property taxes, nor that the state voters rejected attempts to fix that. It’s not the district’s fault that Gov. Tom Corbett (PA’s own Scott Walker) has once again drastically cut education funding (especiallyreimbursement toward the same charter schools that were pushed on districts) — even though the same old divisive voices convince voters it is.