Tuesday, November 24, 2015

'Fired up' crowd storms SRC meeting over school closures

UPDATE, 4:50 p.m.

'Fired up' crowd storms SRC meeting over school closures


UPDATE, 4:50 p.m.

What was a largely quiet, perfunctory School Reform Commission meeting was just interrupted by perhaps 100 sign-waving, shouting citizens angry at the district's move to shut 29 schools.

While a district staffer was reading a resolution honoring school counselors, the protesters marched in with a bullhorn, photos of Gov. Corbett and Mayor Nutter (blamed for underfunding schools) and signs reading "1 Year Moratorium" and "Save Our Schools."

"SRC, not for me" and "we're fired up, can't take it no more," they shouted.  A speaker angrily accused the SRC of following an agenda to privatize schools.

After about five minutes, the protesters moved to the back of the room and the meeting resumed, though folks continued shouting from the back.  "How do you live with yourselves?" one man shouted.  Another suggested the SRC was out of touch, and that no schools in the neighborhoods they live in are proposed to close.  That's not exactly true; the newest SRC member, Sylvia Simms, lives in North Philadelphia, and the school her granddaughter attends is up for closure. It's Simms' first SRC meeting; she replaces Lorene Cary, who left after her term expired.

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Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham writes the Philly School Files blog, where she covers education in Philadelphia, both in and out of the classroom.

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