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Students, Teachers and Parents Rally for Education

Stakeholders from all over Northwest Philadelphia gather in Gorgas Park to protest the city's education budget.

Parents, teachers and students gathered in Gorgas Park in Roxborough on Monday night to rally in protest against the proposed school district cuts and closing of schools.

“We have people here from all over the Northwest,” said parent organizer Rebecca Poyourow.  “There are people here from Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill as well as Roxborough and Manayunk.

Kids and parents as well as a few teachers and principals held up signs that said things like “save our schools,” and “we need sports.”

Sabra Townsend has a child who attends the Dobson School, and she was there to speak for the special education students in the district.

“All children should have the right to an education,” Townsend said.  “A special education child is just as deserving of an education as any other child.”

“It’s horrible what they’re proposing,” Poyourow said.  “If it passes, there will only be money for teachers and principals.  There will be no nurses, aides, librarians.  I would hate to see it happen.”

Poyourow also acknowledged that entire problem doesn’t lie at the feet of the city council.  She also blames the state.

“Pennsylvania doesn’t use a funding formula,” Poyourow said.  “There’s no sense of the true cost to run a district.”

Some states use a formula that factors in how many English language learner students a district might have, or how many of the students are living in poverty. 

The state then uses these factors to determine funding.

“We’ve been scrambling to find a solution for the last few years,” Poyourow said.  “We’re still trying to figure it out.”

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