Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is the target of an ad campaign urging him to do the right thing by Philadelphia's schools, students, and teachers. The ads, running on television and radio as well as in print and online, feature Kia Hinton, the mother of three Philadelphia public school students. "Mr. Mayor, you have a choice," Hinton says. "Invest in our kids' education, or keep cozying up to the governor."
After massive education cuts statewide, Gov. Tom Corbett is holding additional Philadelphia school funding hostage for massive concessions by teachers, who are already paid substantially less than teachers in neighboring suburbs and who struggle with inadequate school supplies and other challenges. Yet as they struggle in these conditions while bargaining for a new contract, Nutter has blamed teachers for not agreeing to still lower pay and worse working conditions. In the coming year, their challenges will increase. As the AFT details in a press release accompanying the ads:
The $50 million Mayor Nutter borrowed at the eleventh hour may allow schools to open on time, but it isn't enough. Students will face overflowing classes with no arts, music or extracurricular activities, and their schools won't have enough staff to provide them with individual attention and support. Philadelphia children deserve better. Twenty-four schools have been closed, three more were given to charter companies, and nearly 4,000 teachers and school support staff have been laid off.Tell Mayor Nutter not to let Gov. Corbett make Philly the next Detroit. Defend families, teachers and public schools.