Brazen Enough to Gut Public Education, Governor Cowers as Students Protest

by Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams, 1/17/14

Gov. Corbett backs out of first-ever visit to Philadelphia public school after students, workers, and community members mobilize

Students protest at Central High School in Philadelphia (Photo: Philly Student Union/Flickr)
Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett was slated Friday to make his first ever appearance in a Philadelphia public school since he took the state’s helm in 2011.

Yet when he found out he would be met with mass protests from the students and workers whose public education system has been gutted under his watch, he backed out of the event, instead “honoring” Central High School for its top performance from his office in downtown Philadelphia.

“The governor bailed on us,” Central High School senior Michael Krolikowski told Common Dreams.

“Governor Corbett showed cowardice in not showing up and facing the students who have had to deal with his budget cuts and have had to deal with the policies of the administration that have devastating effects on their education and futures,” said Hiram Rivera, executive director for Philly Student Union, in an interview with Common Dreams. “He was not expecting the power of the students.”

While Corbett failed to show up, students, workers and community members did.

Nearly 100 students at Central High School — where Corbett was slated to make his appearance — rallied in front of their school at 7:30 AM, chanting “No Education, No Life,” and “Save Our Schools,” waving banners and posters and passing out informational flyers to parents and students entering the building.

Later in the morning, a crowd of 200 protesters from teachers’ unions, the NAACP, black churches, and community groups marched to the school, according to Rivera….

read more at Common Dreams


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