This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks
Marches, rallies, bus trips to Harrisburg.
Parents, students and staff haven’t kept quiet their concerns about the Philadelphia School District’s budget woes.
But with less than a month to go before the start of the school year, some are considering upping the ante with hopes of not just highlighting, but shining a spotlight on the need for adequate funding.
Earlene Bly, whose daughter is a rising sophomore at Roxborough High School, is thinking about homeschooling if the District can’t rehire school safety staffers, including cafeteria employees and noon-time aides.
"I don’t know if I want my child in the school system, in that school, knowing that she’s not safe," Bly said.
The District laid off nearly 4,000 school employees this summer. About a thousand of them were student safety employees.
Bly joined hands with those workers, who organized a 12-hour fast — 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. — on Wednesday on the steps of School District headquarters.
"I’m waiting to see if they’re going to give up the money. I’m waiting to see if they’re going to open the schools. I’m waiting to see if they’re going to bring back the people that they let go," she said after a brief midmorning rally.
More than 100 protesters staked out spots on North Broad Street, where tents and porta-potties were set up.