My Name is Maria Cruz, and I am the President of the School Advisory Council at Luis Muñoz Marín Elementary school in North Philadephia. As you may already know, our neighborhood school was targeted by Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite and the School reform Commission last month as a "turnaround" school, subject to a takeover by the private charter operator, ASPIRA of Pennsylvania, which has a recent history of suspicious financial practices, missing money, and union-busting.
Please sign our online petition asking that our school be given the resources it needs to be successful, without the false choice of a hasty charter takeover.
In a fast-tracked process orchestrated by the school district, Muñoz Marín parents and the School Advisory Council were offered an opportunity to vote on the ASPIRA of PA takeover. But as it became apparent that parents and the community were deeply opposed to the move, our district's leadership-- with the endorsement of 7th District City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez-- changed the rules and pushed the vote back another month to give ASPIRA of PA time to campaign.
Now, Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez is also saying that parents may be "misinformed" and thus unable to make a "correct" decision about their school.
Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez has close ties to ASPIRA of PA-- she was executive director of the organization for four years. Now, instead of advocating for high-performing neighborhood schools for all students, she is lobbying on behalf of the charter operator.
I am writing to invite you to join Muñoz Marín educators, parents and community supporters in signing a petition to ask Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez to stand by her constituents. Our appeal to her: Take action to make all our neighborhood schools great. Don't declare our schools a failure and turn them over to an unaccountable private operator.
President, Luis Muñoz Marín School Advisory Council