Several dozen students got a civics lesson as they visited Philadelphia City Hall and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Philadelphia office to talk about school funding.
The students brought both their art and “worry dolls” to show their anxiety about school funding in Philadelphia. The school district is asking for $216 million more just to continue services at this year’s “bare bones” levels.
“We need to improve our funding and help out with getting our nurse every day and music and art,” said Yasan Oliver, an 8th grader at Andrew Jackson school, while lobbying council members.
Councilman Curtis Jones was moved by the student turnout.
“I think they are our moral compass as to why full funding of education is important,” he said.
Councilman Bill Greenlee said he and his colleagues are trying to tackle the school issue but there are other pressing needs in the city budget.
“We’re certainly aware of the problems that are going on, but when it comes to a budget there’s a lot of things we have to fund and there are always tough choices we have to make this time of year,” Greenlee said.
The city is counting on $75 million from a proposed city cigarette tax as part of the school funding solution. However the state has not acted on the idea.