The political tug of war between city and state officials and organized labor about how to fund and educate children in the city of Philadelphia is nearing the point of disaster.
The city and state politicians continue to stock the school board with their political cronies that have no idea how to fix things, and organized labor continues the 1970’s rhetoric that armored trucks full of money is the answer to the problem.
While on the other side, parents and students need to be realistic as well. The schools and teachers are there to educate children, not serve in the capacity of a government-run day care. And yes, there will be consolidation of schools that needs to take place whether you like it or not.
I think a step in the right direction would be to enlist the local university presidents and administrators to fill two-thirds to seventy-five percent of the seats on the Philadelphia school board. Philadelphia is home to some of the best universities in the country, and we should be tapping into those resources to modernize our system of education. The remainder of the seats should be filled with both parents and CEOs/CFOs of corporations that are based in Philadelphia.
Our entire region has a stake in getting this fixed and, more importantly, getting it right. The clock is ticking and the stakes have never been higher. Everything from future economic development to maintaining and strengthening local neighborhoods and real estate values are riding on fixing the system.
I realize this plan is a little too simplistic, but it’s a start. To continue along the current path would almost certainly lead to doom and gloom for the city recognized and honored for being the birthplace of America.