A message of hope from Helen Gym

“We’ve built a movement that will not only hold accountable people like U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos but will also lift up a vision of vibrant public schools and restore them to the center of our civic life.” 

Helen Gym

PAA founding member Helen Gym has had a remarkable year and a half since taking office as a city councilperson in Philadelphia. We receive regular emails with updates on Helen’s activities and accomplishments. This particular email from August 3 stood out as an especially bright ray of hope against the dismal background we are too likely to see today. Helen’s clear statement of the value of public schools, backed by her strong record of accomplishment, is well worth reading, sharing and keeping in mind as we move forward into the new school year.

Here’s what Helen’s email said:

Friend —

In the face of the never-ending negative news cycle, I wanted to take a few moments to highlight the progress we’ve made in rebuilding our schools.

I helped win new resources for schools, including doubling the number of social workers in schools and new staffing and training for our immigrant students and families – the first in years!

I also helped lead the charge in closing down a residential treatment facility for vulnerable youth after repeated incidents of abuse and a homicide. The city and School District redirected that contract and showed we can move quickly on accountability when children are being hurt.

I know how important our schools are to you, and I won’t slow down in making sure our children get what they need.

Last month, Philadelphia teachers and staff approved a strong contract, ending a years-long standoff and ensuring new investments in our school staff, our children, and public education.

Then, the Pennsylvania Senate approved a Shale Tax. While this won’t fully fund our schools, it’s a step in the right direction.

Together, we’ve built a movement that will not only hold accountable people like U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos but will also lift up a vision of vibrant public schools and restore them to the center of our civic life.

Thank you,
Helen

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Misc

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