Elections are upcoming for mayor, city council, and city commissioner in Philadelphia. But where do the candidates stand on education issues?
See our platform items below to get an idea of where the candidates should be. If you are attending any meet and greets or public forums, use these items to get the opinions of those who are running!
The Caucus of Working Educators of the PFT believes that ALL Philadelphia school children have the right to a thorough and efficient education. To those ends, WE ask all candidates for public office in Philadelphia to adopt the following platform:
1. Adoption of a fair funding formula that creates equal funding for districts across Pennsylvania, as well as securing of additional revenue sources specifically for Philadelphia. This would include a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program for institutions of higher education within the city limits, closing tax loopholes for corporations that do business in Philadelphia, as well as state-wide 5% tax on shale drilling, to be split equally between education and public employee pensions state-wide.
2. Restructuring of district debt. In 2015, debt servicing is projected to eat up 9% of the annual budget, or $280 million dollars (http://schoolbudget.phl.io/). Banks must be approached directly to forgive or at least restructure this debt.
3. Local control of our school district, specifically a school board elected by the citizens of Philadelphia.
4. A moratorium on the closing or transitioning of public schools until the district establishes complete financial transparency and oversight for all charter schools.
5. A reduction of the importance of standardized testing, including working to eliminate district-based exams, supporting families that refuse standardized testing for their children, and advocating for the use of multiple measures to evaluate student and school success.
6. Integration of wrap-around services into our schools, including social workers, medical professionals, and universal pre-kindergarten.
7. Equal rights to due process and collective bargaining for all teachers and school staff members across the state, even those in “cities of the first class.”