Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett was set to visit Central High School in Philadelphia, but made a last minute schedule change, and the students, teachers and parents who planned to protest his visit are calling it a victory.
Education budget cuts under Gov. Corbett have devastated Philadelphia public schools, forcing them to close by the dozens and leaving students without access to basic resources like school nurses and college counselors. The protesters who gathered at Central are calling for a fair funding formula that would restore lost funds and make needed investments in the school system.
According to the Philadelphia Citypaper, Central High would have been the first public school Gov. Corbett ever visited.
Teachers at Central High released a passionate open letter to the Governor proving just how dedicated they are to fighting for their students:
"We, as the staff of Central High School, are writing to express discomfort with your visit. We are proud of and celebrate our students' achievements, yet we recognize that they have accomplished this in spite of, rather than because of, your budget cuts and educational policies [...]
As we observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we recognize that education provides a way for students, especially those most disadvantaged, to fulfill the dream of equality. We call for an end to policies that marginalize our neediest students, and hope that the current funding structure will be seen for what it is: unjust and destructive. We hope that these policies, like the injustices of the past, will be relegated to the dustbin of history."
Below are some Twitter highlights from the protest. You can follow the whole conversation with hashtag #PhlEd.
The students at Central go places and become important people. We do this by being socially aware. No adults put us up to anything.— Kirstie F. (@PrettyPinkFl0yd) January 17, 2014