The Philadelphia School Reform board has just announced a contract in which they will spend over a million dollars on turnstiles in the district headquarters. At a time when so many Philadelphia schools are in trouble, this seems outrageous. Something can be done about the SRC spending though. That is to get involved as much as possible.
Announcement of “Focus 46” Came After Announcement For Golden Turnstiles
On the heels of the announcement of the million dollar turnstiles for district headquarters, was the announcement for reform in 46 particularly violent schools. It is not a fact that all Philadelphia area schools are bad, but we would have to have blinders on to not realize just how bad some of these schools are. There is no way for a child to learn in such an environment. That’s why the million dollar turnstiles was like a smack in the face to parents, student and even teachers. That money could have been better spent on more aides for classrooms, books and safety.
Focus 46-Truancy, Attendance and Crossing Over to Suburban Schools
These particularly bad Philadelphia district schools which remain unnamed as of right now are finally on the list for reform, but it just may be too late. While SRC is spending millions of dollars on headquarters, the children in these districts have suffered. SRC is promising a new day so to speak, ready to curb the violence. This however, is coming after some outrageous spending for headquarters instead of the schools. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports: “The truancy rate in these schools is 40%, the daily attendance rate of less than 90 percent and violent incident rate of more than five per 100 students*”. I live just outside the city and our high school here has had to take major steps to curb students from crossing district lines to come to the high school here. Honestly, if I were a parent in one of those 46 schools, I have to wonder, would I do the same thing? The problem with this though is severe overcrowding. With just one public high school serving Upper Darby, Drexel Hill, Clifton Heights and parts of Penn Pines, we have an overcrowding problem without out of district children attending. Money being spent policing the local public transportation areas for children coming in out of district and the many other steps being taken is a waste of our schools money that could be used elsewhere.
Frivolous SRC Spending Hurts Philadelphia School District and Surrounding School Districts
SRC, or School Reform Commission is in place to help improve schools. When the schools in Philadelphia see improvement on how tax dollars are spent, we will see an improvement in the suburbs as well. This money needs to be spent on well needed well deserved programs and items needed in the Philadelphia School District. SRC holds public meetings at which the public are welcome to speak. If you would like to speak, please call the number below by 4:30 p.m. of the day prior to the meeting. These are held at 2:00 PM in the School District Board of Education’s auditorium:
440 N. Broad St.
I would encourage parents and any other family members of children that attend school in the Philadelphia school district to become as involved as possible. All money spent is broken down at these public meetings. Unfortunately, things do slip through, like the million dollar turnstiles. This is because the decision was made before they announced it at the meeting. The more the people of Philadelphia get involved, the less these things will happen because SRC will know that they are being watched carefully by the parents of Philadelphia school district children.
Kristen A. Graham
“School Reform Commission hears plans to curb violence in 46 Philadelphia schools “The Philadelphia Inquirer