Philadelphia students, teachers and parents plead with council for school money

Parents and other Philadelphia School District supporters are pleading with City Council to approve an additional $60 million for education.

Carol Blum has two daughters in Meredith Elementary School in Queen Village. She says it’s embarrassing how the school-funding issue is being handled.

“I’m ashamed to say that our city and state has such little regard for the most vulnerable among us, children and young people,” she said at a Tuesday public hearing in Council Chambers.

Activist reaction

Education Activist Helen Gym says parents understand that $60 million additional dollars is a great deal of money for City Council to provide but the schools need the funding.

She objects to those in council who are floating the idea of tying city aid to whether the state comes up with additional dollars.

“There is no white savior on whatever dark horse coming in to rescue the day,” said Gym. “Unfortunately, as much as we want to tie the conditions to Harrisburg, playing a brinksmanship game with our schools with a governor who will cut cash assistance to the poor is not going to bode well.”

If the district does not get major labor concessions in addition to the extra city and state money, it says it will have to cut its budget by 25 percent — getting rid of art, music, guidance counselors, librarians, secretaries, sports or other extracurriculars.

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