This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
As Philadelphia students returned to school Monday, children’s advocates rallied outside Gov. Corbett’s Center City office to rebuke him for not spending more on education.
The city’s public schools are opening with a scarcity of guidance counselors, nurses, and funding for supplies.
The students themselves couldn’t attend the protest, of course, but that doesn’t mean their voices weren’t heard. Activists and elected officials read excerpts from letters that students wrote to Corbett.
"Dear Gov. Corbett," read Patricia West of the nonprofit Public Citizens for Children and Youth, "It’s horrible that because of these budget cuts, our counselors and secretaries will be put out of a job. Please reconsider the budget. By taking away our art and music, you are taking away what makes us special."
"If you cut art, it would be like you killed me because I love art. If you take it away, I will tell everyone not to vote for you," read another advocate.