In Spring 2007, more than 100 parents representing dozens of parent associations at schools across the city gathered at a School Reform Commission meeting to declare a vote of “no confidence” in the District’s budget. The action culminated more than a year of organizing and discussion work by Parents United for Public Education, and was supported by a number of other parent groups such as JUNTOS, the Philadelphia Home & School Council, Eastern Philadelphia Organizing Project, the Philadelphia Student Union and others.
For months Parents United had raised concerns about growing District budget problems. The District didn’t formally announce a deficit until October 2006, although Parents United and student groups had been protesting budget problems at least six months earlier. The announcement of an out-of-control budget deficit and the resulting budget cuts which parents felt were borne mostly by local schools resulted in the vote of no confidence.
The parent action led to dramatic changes in the district – including leadership changes at the School Reform Commission, the publication of annual school-by-school budgets, and a renewed commitment to parent engagement efforts. In addition, the action had citywide impact, contributing to the unanimous passage of the City’s Education Reinvestment Act that delivered an additional $20 million to the public schools. Parents have led that charge for accountability and we pledge to remain vigilant and true to maintaining that vision.
Click here to read Parents United's letter to the SRC regarding the vote of no confidence (PDF).
Click here to see a list of the home and school associations and other organizations that signed on to the vote of no confidence (PDF).