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Below is an excerpt from a testimony for the Children and Youth and Finance Committees in Philadelphia's City Council, December 15, 2021.
I am in the confounding position of being a former high school teacher, a professor of education policy, and the parent of a toddler in West Philadelphia. Having become somewhat familiar with the system into which our child Thisbe will spend a great deal of her life, I am angry and sad. I stand with thousands of parents and other community members who are impacted by sick school structures in this city, both physical and social, and who support the initiatives called for in the modernization legislation you're considering.
In my remarks I'd like to zoom in on our local elementary school and zoom out to the array of financial and political forces aligned against fixing its much needed facilities. Finally, despite the gridlock creating a sense of impossibility, I'd like to offer some possibilities open to us for implementing your proposed initiative.