Growing up Lynne Abraham was told education was the great equalizer. Strong schools and good teachers are why she was able to become the first person in her family to graduate college and later law school at a time when women were not supposed to be attorneys. As Mayor, Lynne wants to make sure the same opportunities that allowed her to build a better life are available to every Philadelphia student. Lynne understands that strong schools build strong neighborhoods and strong neighborhoods are the backbone behind every thriving city. That’s why Lynne is dedicated to ensuring every student in every classroom in every public school in Philadelphia has the tools they need to succeed and compete for 21st century jobs.
Here’s Lynne’s plan to improve our schools now and in the future:
- Put in place a genuine per-student-allotment in Pennsylvania—just like virtually every other in the United States. A genuine per-student-allotment ensures that all students from all parts of the state get the same amount of money. Per-student-allotment will provide Philadelphia’s public schools with full and fair funding from Harrisburg. In doing so, Lynne will support current litigation brought by PILCOP in Commonwealth Court to address the disparity in funding schools across the Commonwealth.
- On day one, bring an action in federal court, if necessary, to assure full, fair funding if those in charge in Harrisburg can’t or won’t step up. Unequal funding that penalizes Philadelphia’s schoolchildren violates their rights under state and federal law.
- Fight our deficit challenges while protecting our City’s educational rights. Importantly, a genuine per-student-allotment would literally eliminate our City’s current deficit.
- Seek to impose a moratorium on new charter schools. The growth of charter schools has imperiled our children by draining huge amounts of money from the public school system. Lynne joins with Governor Wolf, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, dedicated civic groups and community leaders in urging the School Reform Commission to place an immediate moratorium on approval of any new charter schools.
- Work with key parties to build a comprehensive and balanced education plan to reform and re-energize our City’s schools. This plan should look at all aspects of taking our City’s schools into the future—including universal pre-K education, developing a 21st Century academic curriculum, bolstering K through 12 education, increasing accountability, assuring more community involvement and upgrading infrastructure. Philadelphia’s kids come first: they deserve better. Our City deserves better. Lynne has said over and over that our kids should not be the pawns of people who make millions in the charter school industry.
- At the center of Lynne’s Plan for Philadelphia Schools are our teachers. Teachers make all the difference in the lives of children. But they can’t do their job in substandard facilities, in unruly classrooms, and without sufficient supplies. We must also do better in providing our educators with the training and resources to succeed. Our teachers must be respected and their contracts honored.
- Renovate and rebuild our school infrastructure to meet the needs of our next generations. Following the moratorium on approval and funding of charter schools, we need to step back to plan and ensure that charter schools perform at a high level—while remembering that our public schools are not for sale.
- Ensure all Philadelphia students a seat at a great public school with dedicated teachers, a strong curriculum and a safe environment—because there is simply no better investment than our children’s future.
- Support higher education opportunities, including working with private partners, to develop a fund to help Philadelphia public school graduates afford higher education.
Click here to see a copy of Lynne’s Plan for Philadelphia Schools.