The POWER Interfaith Education Justice Campaign addresses full, fair funding for all Philadelphia public schools and how to achieve this goal through group actions. 

POWER Education Justice Campaign Steering Committee: Beth Lazer, Andrea Moselle, Margo Schall, Rochelle Nichols-Solomon

RS Education Justice Team Committee:
Co-chairs: Ethel Goldberg and Muriel Kudera
Members: Judith Drasin, Marilyn Esner, Susan Frankel, Gail ‘Malka’ Meister

 

Work Groups

Pilots: a program now operating at the Comegys School in collaboration with West Philadelphia Mennonite Church and Congregation Kol Tzedek, where volunteers from the two congregations work with parents of students at the school and teach them technology skills so that they can more effectively help their children (especially lower elementary grades) succeed in a virtual learning environment. This is the program, that we hope can also be implemented at Spring Garden Elementary with volunteers from RS, St. Paul’s Baptist, and another nearby church. Volunteers are trained as members of the Ella Baker Brigade.

Research: a team that does work identifying potential local supporters/partners for the organizing and advocacy work, through one on one interviews and other outreach activities.

Base Building: working to broaden POWER membership, particularly among parents, teachers and other stakeholders in the education process.

 

Initiatives

Statewide Initiatives: Statewide Full Fair Funding initiative refers to the ongoing effort to persuade the State Legislature to allocate all state education funds through the funding formula adopted several years ago, which considers poverty, % of English Language Learners, and other high need categories in allocating the education dollars. Unfortunately, when the formula was first adopted, the Legislature decreed that only NEW  education funds would be distributed through the formula, despite the fact that this discriminates against districts with higher percentages of Black and Brown students. A new wrinkle this year is that instead of continuing to lobby recalcitrant legislators, the strategy is evolving to “build the base” of supporters. Right now, POWER is working to get the Board of Education, City Council, and other influential individuals and organizations to pass resolutions in support of the FFF initiative.

Citywide Initiatives: Equitable Distribution of Resources refers to the effort started by Powel School and since broadened to include all elementary and K-8 schools by having three critical positions included as part of each schools Operating Budget allocation: Lead Literacy Teacher, Lead Math Teacher and Climate Manager. Some of you have already written emails to Superintendent Hite and made phone calls to School Board Members. Over the next 10 weeks before the 2021-2022 FY budget is finalized, POWER and its allies will be fighting to get these positions permanently included in each school’s staff allocation. Click here for the Timeline of Equitable Distribution of Resources.

Hyperlocal Initiatives: Pilots is the program now operating at the Comegys School in collaboration with West Philadelphia Mennonite Church and Congregation Kol Tzedek, where volunteers from the two congregations work with parents of students at the school, teaching them technology skills so that they can more effectively help their children (especially lower elementary grades) to succeed in a virtual learning environment. This is the program, that we hope can also be implemented at Spring Garden Elementary with volunteers from RS, St. Paul’s Baptist, and another nearby church. Volunteers are trained as members of the Ella Baker Brigade.

 

How do I get involved?

Click here  to get involved in RS Education Justice Team actions. Contact Ethel Goldberg or Muriel Kudera for more information.