The School Reform Commission of Philadelphia, controlled by the state, recently canceled the teachers’ contract to extract savings from the teachers’ benefits to plug a huge budget gap created by Governor Corbett’s $1 billion in cuts to education in the state. Corbett apparently hopes to privatize as many public schools as possible during his tenure. He likes to blame teachers for budget crises instead of his budget cuts. He is up for re-election in a few weeks. He should lose. He is a disaster for public education.
For Immediate Release
October 15, 2014
Kate Childs Graham
American Federation of Teachers Launches Political Ad Buy on Philly School Crisis
WASHINGTON— The American Federation of Teachers Committee on Political Education has launched an ad buy that tells the true story of the teachers’ contract in Philadelphia. The six-figure radio ad buy—which features Philadelphia educators Steve Flemming and Sharnae Wilson—started airing in the Philadelphia media market Oct. 14.
“You have to wonder why Gov. Corbett’s School Reform Commission is more determined to misrepresent contract negotiations as a pretext for imposing concessions than to work with the teachers and support staff in Philadelphia who have been the glue holding schools together,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Gov. Corbett has been blaming and attacking them for months on end. Now, weeks before he is up for re-election, his School Reform Commission pulls this stunt. It’s unacceptable and voters won’t stand for it.”
“Something doesn’t add up,” said Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan. “We put $24 million in healthcare savings and $10 million in wage freezes on the table 14 months ago. The School Reform Commission refused the money and then stopped negotiating altogether in July. If they were serious about helping kids, they would work with us, not try to break us.”
Steve: My name is Steve and I teach third grade. I absolutely love teaching.
Sharnae: My name is Sharnae. My passion has always been teaching.
Steve: The budget cuts are having a huge impact.
Sharnae: There are too many students in the classroom. We have to buy our own supplies.
Narrator: From old textbooks to outdated equipment to overcrowded classrooms, our Philadelphia teachers are up against many challenges … and yet they keep going.
Steve: We teach our hearts out every single day.
Sharnae: Hoping things will get better.
Narrator: Gov. Corbett cut $1 billion from Pennsylvania’s schools. Fourteen months ago, Philadelphia teachers put millions in healthcare savings on the table. But Gov. Corbett’s School Reform Commission refused to accept their offer. And now? The School Reform Commission is trying to pull the plug on our teachers’ contract. Choosing to spend money in the courtroom instead of the classroom.
Sharnae: The students are suffering.
Steve: Something must change.
Narrator: Send a message to Gov. Corbett and the SRC. Tell them to stand with our kids, our schools and our teachers. Vote Nov. 4.
Paid for by American Federation of Teachers Committee on Political Education. The American Federation of Teachers is responsible for the content of this ad.
Click here to listen to the ad.