May 10, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 10, 2017
Estelle Richman’s Confirmation is the Opportunity to Return Philadelphia Schools to Local Control
On May 10th, Estelle Richman was confirmed unanimously by the State Senate. This came after Richman spent months in limbo, since her nomination by Governor Wolf in October. Since September of 2016, the Our City Our Schools coalition has called on the three new SRC Commissioners appointed by Mayor Kenney and Governor Wolf to vote to abolish the SRC, thereby returning our schools to local control. The Our City Our Schools coalition has released the following statement in response to Richman’s confirmation:
After months of delay by the Pennsylvania legislature, Estelle Richman has been confirmed for the 5-person unelected School Reform Commission. The delay in confirming Ms. Richman is nothing new from the Pennsylvania legislature. Since the state took away the local governing power of the Philadelphia schools 15 years ago and put into place the School Reform Commission, we have seen the state fail our schools, our kids, our teachers and our parents. The School Reform Commission has deliberately targeted school closures in Black and Brown neighborhoods, cancelled the teachers’ contract, and opened the gates for unaccountable expansion of charter schools.
But with Ms. Richman’s confirmation, there is the potential for huge change for our schools. Read More
November 3, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 3, 2016
Statements from the Our City Our Schools Campaign about Kenney’s Appointment to SRC
Today, Mayor Kenney named Joyce Wilkerson to a position with the School Reform Commission (SRC). Wilkerson is the second appointment to the SRC this month, replacing Marjorie Neff who resigned in September. Recently, Governor Wolf named Estelle Richman as his nominee to the SRC, replacing Feather Houstoun. In January, a third SRC position will be open when Sylvia Simms’ term is up.
In response, members of the Our City Our Schools coalition called on Mayor Kenney and Governor Wolf to appoint members to the School Reform Commission ready to vote to abolish the School Reform Commission — and return the Philadelphia schools to local control.
October 15, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 15, 2016
Our City Our Schools Campaign Statement on Governor Wolf’s Pick for SRC
Today it was announced that Governor Wolf has asked Estelle Richman to join the School Reform Commission. Richman would take the seat of Feather Houstoun who recently resigned. In response, the Our City Our Schools campaign released the following statement:
“Estelle Richman has a long history of public service and is certainly a strong choice from Governor Wolf. But there are clear questions that need to be asked of all appointments put forth for the School Reform Commission. Does former secretary Richman support local control of Philadelphia’s schools? Will former secretary Richman commit to vote to abolish the School Reform Commission should she become a commissioner? These are the questions that our Governor and our Mayor should be asking as they choose commissioners. In May 2015, Philadelphia residents made their opinions very clear when over 75% of voters voiced no confidence in the SRC. Will Governor Wolf and Mayor Kenney listen to their constituents?
Our City Our Schools is a campaign led by parents, teachers, students and community, faith and union leaders, calling for the abolition of the School Reform Commission and for local control of Philly’s schools. Endorsing organizations include: Taxi Workers Alliance, Philadelphia NAACP, 215 People’s Alliance, Philly Student Union, UNITE HERE Local 634, Parents United for Public Education, Reclaim Philly, AFT Local 2026, Teacher Action Group, Caucus of Working Educators, APPS, Neighborhood Networks and Media Mobilizing Project.
October 13, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2016
City Council Responds to Public Calls for Abolishing the School Reform Commission
As Community Rallies, City Council Members and Mayor Face Off Around Local Control of the Schools
PHILADELPHIA — Recognizing a growing community-labor alliance around abolishing the School Reform Commission, Councilmembers Darrell Clarke, Jannie Blackwell, Helen Gym and Blondell Reynolds-Brown released an editorial calling for abolishment of the SRC in favor of local control. Mayor Kenney released a statement that said that local control was “not practical” at this time.
“We are glad to see leadership from City Council on this matter. For as long as there had been the School Reform Commission, there have been teachers, parents, students and community leaders thinking about what a better system for our schools looks like. That is a conversation we are excited to have — but to have it, we must first abolish the SRC once and for all. This is the moment,” said Antione Little, a member of the Steering Committee of 215 People’s Alliance said on Thursday at the launch of the Our City Our Schools campaign. Read More
October 5, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2016
Statements from the Our City Our Schools Coalition in Response to Two School Reform Commissioner Resignations
Today, Marjorie Neff and Feather Houstoun announced their resignations as members of the 5-person School Reform Commission. As a result, only three members will remain on the School Reform Commission. It is unclear if the SRC now has quorum in order to make decisions on the governance of the Philadelphia schools.
In response, members of the Our City Our Schools coalition call on Mayor Kenney and Governor Wolf to appoint members to the School Reform Commission ready to vote on day one to abolish the School Reform Commission — and return the Philadelphia public schools to local control. Read More