Philadelphia Teachers Hold Town Hall Meeting With Experts - New York News

Philadelphia Teachers Hold Town Hall Meeting With Experts

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

Philadelphia teachers are taking it upon themselves to improve their financially strapped schools.

They're having a town-hall meeting tonight with national experts to talk about what they can do until the city finds the money to fully fund the district.

Before the meeting began, teachers and support staff talked to FOX 29 about their struggles holding class with all the budget cuts.

"My school, Roxborough High School: we have a bare-bones staff. We have a principal, we have no counselors...[and] there's me. That's all the support staff we have at this moment," says Eileen Difranco, a school nurse.

"The district, itself, has been given a very hard time by the state government and absolutely shows no willingness to stand up for the school children in Philadelphia," says Joan Taylor, a teacher.

Experts at tonight's meeting include former DC Public Schools Chancellor and StudentsFirst Founder Michelle Rhee, author and Capital Preparatory Magnet School Principal Dr. Steve Perry, and former teacher and Washington Teachers' Union President George Parker.

Elementary computers instructor Jeanne Ferrell says that times are tough at the A.S. Jenks school in South Philadelphia, no thanks to current budget problems.

"We've lost some key positions, a reading specialist a counselor, most importantly, we don't have a counselor. We have someone coming in, we don't even have her schedule yet," says Ferrell.

She finds herself taking on more duties too and attended the teacher town hall meeting at Temple University, hoping for answers on Philadelphia's education troubles from national leaders in the field.

She listened to the former leaders of the Washington D.C. school district and liked what she heard.

"One of the main points is getting the politics out of education. To really start getting funding and changes made," she recalls.

The meeting touched on everything from teacher salaries to contract negotiations, and parents we talked to were satisfied as well.

"I felt that it was good we held this dialogue. I feel that we should do more of this," says Maureen Fratantoni.

But protesters outside the town hall scoffed at the list of speakers, doubting whether school reforms in Washington D.C. Could work in Philadelphia.

"I have to question whether these people are experts," says a protestor.

Some folks who were protesting outside wanted to express their belief that Rhee isn't a proper voice to tell Philadelphia what to do.

  • David Kinchen ReportsMore>>

  • TWU Won't Strike, Will Continue To Work With SEPTA On Contract

    TWU Won't Strike, Will Continue To Work With SEPTA On Contract

    Monday, April 7 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-04-07 12:08:38 GMT
    Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority officials say little progress was made Sunday, but union president Willie Brown says that a strike is "not going to happen right now."
    Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority officials say little progress was made Sunday, but union president Willie Brown says that a strike is "not going to happen right now."
  • SEPTA Contract Talks Going Down To The Wire

    SEPTA Contract Talks Going Down To The Wire

    Saturday, April 5 2014 7:41 AM EDT2014-04-05 11:41:16 GMT
    The threat of a major strike looms large over the septa system. Buses, subways, and  trolleys throughout the city could be idled, essentially everything but regional rail.
    The threat of a major strike looms large over the septa system. Buses, subways, and trolleys throughout the city could be idled, essentially everything but regional rail. Hundreds of thousands of passengers would be left in the lurch.
  • Popular Party Pill 'Molly' Becomes Increasingly Dangerous

    Popular Party Pill 'Molly' Becomes Increasingly Dangerous

    Friday, October 4 2013 3:22 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:22:01 GMT
    Back in January we first introduced you to the popular party pill "molly."

    All the rage with teens and college students, it was a name many parents were hearing for the first time.
    Back in January we first introduced you to the popular party pill "molly."

    All the rage with teens and college students, it was a name many parents were hearing for the first time.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Rifle seized after squirrel shooting in Milford

    Rifle seized after squirrel shooting in Milford

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:48 AM EDT2014-04-17 12:48:12 GMT
    Connecticut State NewsConnecticut State News
    Police say they found an unregistered assault rifle and three large-capacity magazines in the home of a Milford man accused of shooting a squirrel.  James Toigo has been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, reckless endangerment, breach of peace, failure to register an assault rifle and possessing large-capacity magazines.
    Police say they found an unregistered assault rifle and three large-capacity magazines in the home of a Milford man accused of shooting a squirrel.  James Toigo has been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, reckless endangerment, breach of peace, failure to register an assault rifle and possessing large-capacity magazines.
  • Harlem politician Basil Paterson dead

    Harlem politician Basil Paterson dead

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:41 AM EDT2014-04-17 12:41:03 GMT
    Basil Paterson, the father of former New York Governor David Paterson, died Wednesday night at the age of 87. The trailblazing Democratic politician from Harlem served in the state Senate, as deputy mayor of New York City, as secretary of state of New York and was appointed by the New York Senate as a commissioner of the Port Authority of NY and NJ. In 1970, he ran for lieutenant governor, the second black nominee of a major party for statewide office in New York.
    Basil Paterson, the father of former New York Governor David Paterson, died Wednesday night at the age of 87. The trailblazing Democratic politician from Harlem served in the state Senate, as deputy mayor of New York City, as secretary of state of New York and was appointed by the New York Senate as a commissioner of the Port Authority of NY and NJ. In 1970, he ran for lieutenant governor, the second black nominee of a major party for statewide office in New York.
  • Fund raises thousands for exonerated NYC man

    Fund raises thousands for exonerated NYC man

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:20 AM EDT2014-04-17 12:20:44 GMT
    A recently exonerated New York man who spent nearly 25 years behind bars for a killing that happened while he was at Disney World is getting help from dozens of well-wishers contributing to an online fund for him. About 70 people gave a total of more than $3,400 to the campaign for Jonathan Fleming by Wednesday. Fleming was released last week after a judge dismissed the 1989 case, with Brooklyn prosecutors' assent.
    A recently exonerated New York man who spent nearly 25 years behind bars for a killing that happened while he was at Disney World is getting help from dozens of well-wishers contributing to an online fund for him. About 70 people gave a total of more than $3,400 to the campaign for Jonathan Fleming by Wednesday. Fleming was released last week after a judge dismissed the 1989 case, with Brooklyn prosecutors' assent.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices