Philly Green Party

Archive for the ‘Education’

Green Party says, “Fund schools without property tax increase”04.25.15

http://www.gp.org/newsroom/press-releases/details/4/799

The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) objects to Mayor Michael Nutter’s budget for Fiscal 2016 because it heaps the cost of school services upon poor and working people. Meeting on April 22 at Cavanaugh’s Restaurant in University City, Green Party members rejected Nutter’s proposed tax increases and urged Philadelphia’s City Council to tax the wealthy to pay for the public education of future citizens.

In his budget address on March 5, Nutter requested that City Council provide $103 million more for public education. Green Party members agree with this request. Chris Robinson, a member of the GPOP City Committee from Germantown (Ward 59), said, “For too long, our city and state leaders have starved public education. Mayor Nutter should have made this request six years ago. The Green Party has highlighted this problem for many years, and we will continue to argue for a larger investment in public education.”

While visiting Kensington Health Sciences Academy on April 9, Nutter added some additional criteria for funding an increase in public school investment. He said, “Let’s cut the phoniness. Let’s be serious about educating kids.” The press reported that Nutter then asked for “concrete, achievable, and annually-recurring plans” to come up with the cash.

Nutter would like to pay for this investment with another increase in property tax, which is not supported by the Green Party. The Green Party City Committee decided in 2012 that the best way to pay for quality public education was to get the money from giant businesses and mega nonprofits.

The Green Party has long opposed the take-backs forced on school employees by a School Reform Commission appointed by failed-Governor Tom Corbett. The Green Party has also opposed tax increases on poor and working people, like the cigarette tax passed by City Council in 2014.

Since 2012, the Green Party has urged City Council and the Mayor to fund an increased investment in public education using methods which are concrete, achievable and annually recurring. Any of the following three methods, which will tax the wealthy, will meet the criteria of both Mayor Nutter and Green Party members:

CUT THE FREE PASS. City Council should reduce the current 10-year property-tax free pass to just five years. The current free pass benefits the new, the few, and the well-to-do, while making long-time residents and businesses pay more.

GOOD NEIGHBOR PAYMENTS. Right now, the mega nonprofits (think, Hahnemann University Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, and others) pay no taxes on their profitable property. Since these nonprofits use city services (think, police and fire), Mayor Nutter now has a duty to issue an executive order on such payments, which was requested of him by Council on March 26.

USE AND OCCUPANCY (U&O) REFORM. Philadelphia’s 2013 AVI reform of real estate taxes shifted $200 million dollars away from businesses and onto homeowners. Instead of another property tax increase like the one requested by Nutter, City Council should raise the U&O tax rate on big businesses to restore fairness to the property-tax code. This change should exempt small businesses.

These three funding methods would allow poor and working citizens to see a better education for their children, while having that investment paid for by giant businesses and mega nonprofits that require a better-educated supply of labor and customers.

Hillary Kane, treasurer of GPOP from Cedar Park (Ward 46), said, “Education of all children should be one of our main responsibilities.” Kane, who is also a delegate to the Green Party National Committee, points to the Green Party Platform, which says, “We must stop disinvestment in education and instead put it at the top of our social and economic agenda. Effective schools have sufficient resources. Too many of our teachers are overworked, underpaid, and starved of key materials.”

The Green Party has also published a proposal for Philadelphia’s public schools, which describes the structural changes needed to improve public education. This document can be found by visiting http://www.gpop.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2012GPOPNewsletterSchools.pdf.

The Green Party is an independent political party founded on the four pillars of social justice, nonviolence, grassroots democracy, and ecological wisdom. For more information about the Green Party of Philadelphia, please telephone 215-243-7103 or email gpop@gpop.org.
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Posted in Education, Local and Regional News, News, Press Releaseswith Comments Off

Green Party Endorses Moratorium on Public School Closings01.22.13

http://www.gp.org/press/pr-state.php?ID=578

(Philadelphia, January 16, 2013) The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) has endorsed a one-year moratorium on the closing of any public school in Philadelphia. The Green Party effort comes in response to a radical proposal by the appointed School Reform Commission (SRC) to close 37 public schools at the end of this school year.

Erin Worrell, a member of the Green Party’s City Committee explained, “Closing schools — in the guise of balancing budgets — steals from the future of Philadelphia and its children. A moratorium will allow time to explore real budget reforms that don’t come at the expense of students and teachers in poor neighborhoods.” (more…)

Posted in Education, Press Releaseswith Comments Off

Greens: Knudsen Plan, Recipe for Disaster07.04.12

 

Greens Call Knudsen Plan a “Recipe for Disaster” for Philly Schools

http://www.gp.org/press/pr-state.php?ID=525

“Grow up and deal with it,” said Mayor Michael Nutter to those who don’t like Thomas Knudsen’s School Transformation Plan. Knudsen, the chief recovery officer for Philadelphia ‘s School Reform Commission, recently proposed to close up to 40 schools by 2013, and another 24 within five years. Knudsen has proven credentials as a cost-cutter, most recently as chief executive of the Philadelphia Gas Works, but no experience in education.

Members of the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) believe the Knudsen Plan is a recipe for disaster and call upon Nutter to withdraw his support for the proposal. (more…)

Posted in Education, Newswith Comments Off

GPOP Proposal for Public Schools05.28.12

The following document was authorized on May 12 by the City Committee of the Green Party of Philadelphia and was published on the website of The Philadelphia Public School Notebook,
http://thenotebook.org/blog/124873/green-partys-suggestions-philadelphia-schools.   
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Green Party Proposal for Philadelphia’s Public Schools

The Green Party of Philadelphia, www.gpop.org, recognizes that Philadelphia’s public schools are facing a crisis. Philadelphia has the eighth largest school district in the nation by enrollment, with 154,482 students in 257 schools. This number includes privately managed and alternative education schools. There are 40,483 students enrolled in 74 charter schools. Additionally, Philadelphia is the only county in Pennsylvania that does not have an elected school board. (more…)

Posted in Education, Working Groupswith Comments Off

About Literature Committee05.17.05

The literature committee was created at the November 2002 general meeting. It is currently working on two projects: creating monthly one-page Green updates for the general public, and updating the GPOP pamphlet.

Contact Alex Gillett at agillett@igc.org to help.

Current literature

New brochure
The brochure has just been updated as of June, 2003. The current brochure includes descriptions of our City Council candidates as well as a huge amount of information for people new to the Green Party. We’re about to do a massive printing of these, so if you’d like to distribute brochures, send an email to gpop@gpop.org. The final brochure will be printed on recycled paper with soy ink at Hare Bros., a union printing press.
The inside and outside of the brochure are in PDF format.

Monthly updates
We have been publishing monthly updates which include a calendar of progressive events in the Philadelphia area, essays by GPOP members on current issues or events, and other information for Greens in the city. If you’d like to write about a topical issue, or have an event to submit, contact agillett@igc.org.
Monthly updates are in PDF format for downloading.

Posted in Education, Older Working Groups, Working Groupswith Comments Off

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