WASHINGTON—Statement by AFT President Randi Weingarten praising Mayor Jim Kenney’s announcement on local control of Philadelphia schools:
"Today is a victory for every parent, student and teacher who fought for, marched for, organized for, and even got arrested for the right of the people of Philadelphia to have local control of their public schools and decide what is best for those schools.
"Rather than invest in public schools that serve poor kids, many states, including Pennsylvania, have decided to give the state control over schools. That was the origin of the School Reform Commission, and for too long the SRC acted as an unaccountable board that dictated the direction of Philadelphia schools against the will of parents, students and teachers. Instead of working to create safe and welcoming public schools for all Philadelphia students, we saw the SRC close and defund public schools, push privatization, engage in mass teacher layoffs, and attack teachers and their union. The SRC was used by former Gov. Tom Corbett to further his political agenda to pit parents against teachers and Philadelphia against the rest of the state.
“The people of Philadelphia stayed united, and today is a triumph for their collective action. The AFT was proud to stand with Philadelphians every step of the way to win local control. Now the hard work begins, and we will continue to be there to fight for the great neighborhood public schools our children deserve, based on what parents and educators know works for their kids and their neighborhoods.”