Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
June 30, 2012
On behalf of the 15,000 professional and paraprofessional members represented by our organization and employed by the Philadelphia Public Schools...dedicated, trained and experienced individuals into whose nurturing, development and care are entrusted daily throughout the academic year to nearly 205,00 children...I would like to clearly state our position on various legislative proposals and amendments coming up for a vote today.
We oppose any charter schools and/or cyber charter school legislation or amendmendatory effort that fails, at a minimum, to require transparency, accountability and ethical standards in the organization, operation and administration of such taxpayer financed educational institutions. Additionally, any statutory or regulatory requirements or evaluation protocols that apply to educators and/or administrators in school district operated, taxpayer funded, public schools must apply equally to educators and administrators in taxpayer funded charter and cyber charter schools. Anything less is unfairly discriminatory to all involved...educators, students, administrators and taxpayers.
We oppose any legislation that fails to fairly reform taxpayer funded charter and cyber charter schools funding formulas consistent with the recent report of Pennsylvania's Auditor General. And, we are opposed to the direct payment of public school district allocated state funding to taxpayer funded charter and/or cyber charter schools, or any similar scheme that imposes a priority for such payments of allocated tax dollars to public school districts.
We oppose any legislation that compromises the ability of already financially strapped school district operated schools to educate our children and/or compromises the right of taxpayers from controlling or even knowing how their tax dollars are being spent by private and quasi-private entities that receive taxpayer funding that is to be dedicated to educating our children.
We further oppose any legislation that will permit and possibly even encourage the state to transfer students from one public school district to another, urban students to suburban and rural school districts or school district operated schools to taxpayer funded and privately operated schools.
Finally, we are compelled to oppose any legislation that permits a statewide authorizer or renewal facility of charter and/or cyber charter schools, that strips citizens of their say, their local voice, vote and direct approval of how their local tax dollars will be spent and how their local school and community will operate.
Thank you for your consideration of our organization's positions on these critical issues.
Jerry Jordan, President
1816 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103