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12/1/2017 | Advocating for Community Schools, Organizing for Education Justice

Historic Victory in Philadelphia Ends State Controls Over Schools

On November 16, hundreds of people from Our City Our Schools, led by CPD affiliate 215 People’s Alliance, rallied to celebrate the end of the 16-year state takeover of Philadelphia’s schools and a return to local control, with a call for the creation of a People’s School Board. The vote to disband the Schools Reform Commission (SRC) marks a critical turning point for Philadelphia schools.

Members of Our City Our Schools watched the historic vote where members of the SRC voted themselves out of existence -- thereby returning Philadelphia’s schools to local control. Two weeks ago, Mayor Kenney announced his support for ending the state-controlled School Reform Commission -- a move that came after a year of concentrated organizing and campaigning by the Our City Our Schools coalition. Check out photos from the action on Facebook.

The Philadelphia victory is an important step towards a return to democratic control of schools and signals a powerful rebuke against the corporate education reform agenda. This community-led victory is not only significant for Philadelphia , but is part of a larger story developing across the country: Black and Brown communities are resisting state takeovers and the synonymous corporate education reform agenda that comes with such drastic measures. All eyes should be on the next phase in re-establishing local control in Philadelphia not only because of its local impact, but also because this will be an important part of the waves of resistance being led by Black and Brown communities across the country calling for equity, an end to education privatization, and the means to control their own destinies, starting with their schools.