Thursday, May 30, 2013

Time to Use Our Outside Voices

It is more critical than ever that our elected officials hear from parents and kids about why finding the funds to enable the PSD to function in 2013-14 is so important.  Please share this post.

JOIN OUR EFFORT to deliver 1,000 hand written letters from children and parents to Harrisburg on June 12th.

Sit down with your child and each write a letter to our elected leaders Harrisburg (we pay their salaries). Tell them what you love about your school, what matters and is wonderful that you can’t afford to lose. Don’t forget to include the name of your school, your name and address. Hand written letters from kids are MOST IMPORTANT because our kids have the most to lose.

Then send that letter to us c/o PCCYPublic Citizens for Children & Youth | 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway 6th Fl. | Philadelphia, PA 19103; postmarked by June 7th or hand delivered by June 10th. (Or email it to Sarah C. Stuart

We will HAND DELIVER all the letters to Harrisburg on Wednesday June 12th. Want to be part of the Harrisburg delegation? You can car-pool or train out there with us. (Just let Sarah know

Call YOUR City Council member and express your support for two bills that will raise funds for the School District: the "Liquor by the Drink"  and the "Use & Occupancy" bills.  Or attend the June 5th City Council session at 2pm when these bills will be voted on.  The restaurant and business lobby is fighting hard against these two bills. Make sure your Councilmember (and At-Large members) hear from you.

 Can you do more? Phone Bank.
You call people throughout the state who care about public education. They help us by making calls so that state senators and reps hear from people outside Philadelphia. This is very powerful and a great opportunity to have your voice amplified.

If you can phone bank, just email with days/approximate times available. You need internet access and a phone to do it from home, and there will be some opportunities to do it from the PA Ed Voters office as well. June 7th will be the first target date.

 Keep in touch. Put your outrage to good use.
·       Friend the IMAGINE A SCHOOL Facebook page and post your updates so everyone knows
·       Use the PCCY  and ED VOTERS OF PA websites to get information and take action
·       Get your kids to use their FACEBOOK, Twitter and Instagrams to get their friends involved.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Students are Encouraged to Speak out at Thursday's City Council Session (5/22/13)

Last week, at a meeting with a City Councilman, a brave SLA junior wept as she contemplated he
senior year and her prospects for college if the City and State don't come up with the needed money.  SLA could lose the digital video program making it impossible for her to prepare a competitive portfolio for her college submission. Every child in the Philadelphia schools is thinking about what they stand to lose and how they will ever be able to achieve their dreams if the adults in charge don't start coming up with some solutions.

We are their parents and we have to help them - help the kids speak up for themselves - speak truth to power. And we have to tell OUR elected officials - in City Hall and in Harrisburg - that we as taxpayers, residents and parents want them to invest in our children's future, in our public schools. No excuses.

This Thursday, May 23, 2013, is an important day for this effort.  There is a citywide effort to have every child and parent to come down to City Hall from 11-1 in a show of strength.

And we are asking CHILDREN - STUDENTS - to testify. City Council, the media and the state need to hear from those whose lives hang in the balance, our children. Politicians always say: education, education, education. Talk is cheap. We need action.

On Thursday, May 23, City Council will consider Bill #130161, written by Councilwoman Quinones Sanchez, which is the first bill proposed by any member of Council to raise the funds needed for the public schools for next year.

A group of parents has been meeting with all the members of City Council over the past three weeks. Based on those meetings, we believe it is critical that we have a big show of support in Council Chambers this Thursday. Our friends in Council need to know we "have their backs," and those who are opposed to funding the schools need to see that we, as voters and taxpayers, are watching them.

City Council needs to know that we want our children to get a good education. And if that means taking a few hours off work to go sit in council chambers, so be it.

Please join us in Council chambers Thursday from 11-1.

If your student (or you!) wants to speak during the public comment period of Thursday's  Council Session, please call the Clerk's office to sign up.  Click here for more information.

Friday, May 3, 2013

2013-2014 Budget in Dire Straits - Please Help Fuel the Rocket

The School District is projecting a $300 million shortfall for the 2013-2014 school year. If our schools have to absorb a 25% cut to their budgets because of this shortfall, they effectively will be running on 40% less than fours years ago. This year's budget cut means $700,000 less for SLA. As Mr. Lehmann was quoted recently on WHYY, "there's no fat."

Here's what $700,000 translates into for SLA.

Spanish 2-4 will be taught online
No College Counseling
No Calculus
No Statistics
No Computer Science
No Engineering
No Upper Level Drama
No Digital Video
Earlier closings of the school building

If the School District eliminate athletics, all of our teams will also be lost.

Mr. Lehmann wants to avoid these cuts and is trying to raise funds from multiple sources. But, as parents and guardians of SLA, we must help. The Fuel the Rocket campaign goal is to raise at least $45,000 in the next six weeks. Please make a contribution to the Fuel the Rocket Campaign.  Please donate by check or use the online option in the right hand column.

At the April 30th, meeting, several parents made suggestions for other ways to raise funds for the campaign: a rummage sale, a jazz concert. If you have an idea or want to volunteer, please send us an email at ROCKETSFUNDRAISING@GMAIL.COM