posted Apr 25, 2013, 5:25 PM by Clara Jerez   [ updated Apr 25, 2013, 5:49 PM ]

Dear Masterman Families,

Picture a school with nearly 1200 students and no guidance counselor. No librarian. No office staff to answer phones, take applications, handle absentee notes or balance the books. No after-school sports, no orchestra or choir, no school musical. No new books or computers. No lunchtime or recess supervision. No assistant principal. No MG classes.

That could be reality, come September, with the Philadelphia School District's bare-bones budget. Every school in the city would take a hit with a budget that funds a building, a principal, the number of teachers mandated by class-size limits...and not much else.

If this is not the school you want for your kids, or for any Philadelphia student, if you believe a quality education demands more than this stripped-down scenario, NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT. Here's what you can do:

* CALL YOUR CITY COUNCIL MEMBER and make an appointment to speak by phone or in person about the need for adequate school funding. The School District is seeking $60 million from City Council. You can find your Council member's name and contact information at Also call Council President Darrell Clarke and the at-large members: Wilson Goode, Bill Green, Jim Kenney, David Oh, Bill Greenlee, Dennis O’Brien and Blondell Reynolds-Brown. Tips for making an effective call are here:

*ATTEND the Masterman HSA meeting this Saturday, April 27, at noon, at school. Principal Neff will be there. Come together with other Masterman parents to form an action plan.

* SHOW UP Monday, April 29 when the School District presents its budget to City Council--10-noon and 1-3 p.m. in room 400 of City Hall. Bring a sign if you’re inclined: “Good schools keep Philly families in the city”…”I support public education and I vote”…”Don’t strip our schools!”

* SPEAK UP Tuesday, April 30 when City Council hears public testimony about the School District budget--10-noon and 1 p.m. onward in room 400 of City Hall. If you want to be on the agenda to speak, call the Council clerk's office at 215-686-3407. You don’t have to be an expert; just speak briefly and clearly about the kinds of schools you think Philadelphia students deserve.

* Check our website for further updates and action steps...TOGETHER, WE CAN URGE LAWMAKERS NOT TO STRIP OUR SCHOOLS.

Join Meredith School

Invitation to a  "Public Action" this Monday that involves a picket around the school, followed by a march from school to City Hall. Schools in the Greater Center
City Coalition are supporting us as are parent advocacy groups. We
invite you to join in. Feel free to use the attached letter to
families, and make it your own. We are also printing the attached
posters (11 x 17") so parents can march carrying these. I created the
poster so there are no copyright issues. It would be quite powerful
to have Masterman parents to walk to City Hall on Monday.What a
message it will show to our members of Council about the importance of
our neighborhood schools.

Clara Jerez,
Apr 25, 2013, 5:36 PM