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Green Party Endorses Moratorium on Public School Closings
Green Party of Philadelphia
January 16, 2013
(Philadelphia, January 16, 2013) -- The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) has endorsed a one-year moratorium on the closing of any public school in Philadelphia. The Green Party effort comes in response to a radical proposal by the appointed School Reform Commission (SRC) to close 37 public schools at the end of this school year.
Erin Worrell, a member of the Green Party's City Committee explained, "Closing schools -- in the guise of balancing budgets -- steals from the future of Philadelphia and its children. A moratorium will allow time to explore real budget reforms that don't come at the expense of students and teachers in poor neighborhoods."
In announcing the proposed school closings, the SRC failed to give any information justifying which schools they chose to close. The SRC proposal will disrupt the education of 17,000 students who will be forced to transfer or to drop out. In addition, the fact that so many of the schools to be closed are located in poor neighborhoods indicates that the SRC is not serving the educational community but, rather, serving the people who appointed them.
City Committee member Chris Robinson said, "The Green Party has a four point program for Philadelphia's Public Schools which will better serve the parents, teachers and students. The Green Party has called for an elected Philadelphia School Board to replace the appointed SRC, an end to the privatization of education, an increase in funding for education in Philadelphia until it equals suburban school districts, and an end to the school-to-prison pipeline."
"The brunt of the SRC's proposal will fall on communities whose families can least afford a farther commute for their children, and they will have no voice in where their children will be placed," explained Carol McLean, the Green Party Membership Secretary. "Many of these students will be forced into a charter school which often has no better success rate than their neighborhood school which was closed." McLean continued, "We should insist on keeping all public schools open and find out why so many schools in poor neighborhoods are targeted for closure. It's time to dismantle the current SRC and to institute the Green Party's proposal to better serve our children, teachers and families."
The one-year moratorium on public school closings is being led by the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS, www.wearepcaps.org). Other groups endorsing the moratorium include Action United, Decarcerate PA, Jobs with Justice, Philadelphia NAACP, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Philadelphia Home and School Council and Philadelphia Student Union. For a copy of the Green Party proposal for public schools, please contact the Green Party at 215-245-7103 and firstname.lastname@example.org.