Thursday, August 29, 2013

Youth United for Change Stands With Teachers

from the inbox, a modified press release (last paragraph omitted):

This morning the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' president, Jerry Jordan, announced that Philadelphia teachers are willing to forgo a salary increase and accept changes to their healthcare to provide more money to the School District's budget.  Youth United for Change stands with our teachers.  Our teachers are making major sacrifices and they should not be forced to make any more. 
 Our teachers are on the frontline in our schools, working long hours for our students and using their paychecks to buy school materials.  Philadelphia's teachers are already paid significantly less than neighboring School Districts.  This already sets up our students for a disadvantage.  Further lowering teachers' pay and benefits will lower the quality of our students' education.  Turnover will be higher, quality teachers will leave the District and it will be harder for the District to attract the committed, skilled teachers that our students deserve.    
City Council needs to step up now.  How much do Philadelphia citizens need to do before City Council listens and takes action?  Students, parents and community members have marched, canvassed and spoken out powerfully.  It is time for City Council to listen to their constituents now.  We expected our city officials to fight for us, not throw up their hands, when Governor Corbett's state budget cuts put our schools in this horrible position. 
This summer, Youth United for Change students spent the summer talking to community members about public education.  They knocked on almost 7,000 doors, talked to at least 3,700 people and collected 2,259 surveys.  The message we heard from the community was clear.  Philadelphians want our public education system to be fully funded now.  This funding should not come from our teachers who are already making major sacrifices for our students.  Ultimately cuts to our teachers hurt our students.

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