We read about the insulting contract offer to Philadelphia teachers: cut their pay and benefits, lengthen their work day, eliminate seniority, water fountains, supplies, teachers’ lounges, parking areas. No more bonuses for advanced degrees or national board certification. Did they leave anything out? The school leaders must have laughed their heads off dreaming up whatever they could think of to punish and humiliate and demean their teachers.

An educator in Philadelphia writes about the School Reform Commission’s determination to expand charter schools while starving public schools of resources:

“We keep reading stories of malfeasance by Charter CEO’s, yet the SRC and powers that be, claim that parents choose Charter Schools. Many students have addresses without a neighborhood school. If these families want to send their children to public school, they have to make an application at the School District Headquarters, which may be miles from home. The former neighborhood schools have been converted to Charters and if the Charter is at full enrollment the students are denied admission.

“The blatant disregard for the students in Philadelphia Public Schools is evidenced daily with the lay off of 100+ Certified School Nurses, School Police Officers and Librarians. The bare bones budgetary restrictions that principals must manipulate to run their buildings would be laughable if it was not so tragic. They are proposing “Community Partnerships” as one solution- so far this looks like student nurses coming to schools for their public health rotation. When student teachers are placed in schools to learn how to become effective teachers are they going to claim that this support is for the benefit of the classroom teachers? It is really heartbreaking to see the demise of public schools. There is no REAL choice for the students of Philadelphia.”