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Working to support all schools | Let’s prioritize funding | Healing children first

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Working to support all schools

Response to Aug. 26 post, “The future of city schools rests with you fearless, bike-pedaling millennials,” by Christine Carlson.

I love this op-ed about “millennials” who are supporting their neighborhood schools. I’m not even close to a millennial, however. I guess I’m a Gen Xer. I am, however, someone who hauls my kids around on my bike.

My group, Friends of Adaire, is part of the 19125 Parents Coalition, which includes allies at Friends of Hackett and Friends of H.A. Brown, each of which is doing inspiring work supporting Horatio B. Hackett and Henry A. Brown schools, respectively.

We’re quite sensitive to the idea that working to support our neighborhood public school won’t do much to help other neighborhood public schools that aren’t seeing new investments of parental time and new business philanthropy that we’re trying to harness. That’s one reason we’ve become involved in citywide and statewide advocacy efforts to call for more funding for Philadelphia public schools overall.

That tide must rise for simple justice, much less to see the improvement our democracy needs.

Denis Devine

The writer is a Fishtown dad and Friends of Adaire member.

Let’s prioritize funding

Response to Summer 2014 edition article “Then and now, Pa. schools struggle with funding,” by Paul Jablow.

The issue of inadequate school funding is well known to education activists because Gov. Corbett wasted his whole term of office denying the District a funding formula just to prove he could fund education without raising taxes on the frackers.

To make matters worse, the School Reform Commission has never made the formula a priority in setting policies. Instead, it can only chant about “labor concessions” and “changing work rules” to improve outcomes in schools. The cynical answer is that commissioners do not want a balanced formula while there is a possibility to use the financial struggle to privatize more public education.

I think that Rep. Dwight Evans should be quiet when it comes to the funding discussion. He set the whole thing in motion by sponsoring Act 46, which sold our schools to the state, allowing his contributor, Foundations Inc., to get a contract as a school management organization.

It’s time to change the guard and demand our constitutional rights to a fair education budget.

Gloria Endres

The writer lives in South Philadelphia and is a retired teacher.

Healing children first

Response to Sept. 12 blog post, “A closer look at student behavioral health issues,” by Paul Jablow.

Student behavioral health is definitely a key issue for the School District of Philadelphia. I am interested in how children find healing. Some are lucky to find nurturing relationships in a mentor, a grandparent, relative, or friend. Sometimes it is a teacher, but not always. Sometimes it is art.

Regardless of how traumatized a student might be, children should not be allowed to assault teachers or anyone else – whether or not in a position of authority.

Perhaps some or all Title I money should go to mental/emotional health services first.

Lily Cheng

The writer works as a clinical data specialist for a practice in the Einstein Healthcare Network.

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