Abraham releases education platform, says it is her number one priority
Mayoral candidate Lynne Abraham unveiled her education platform, the first of four expected in-depth policy papers, assuring that education will be her number one priority.
“As Mayor I’ll take on the state to ensure that our schools get their fair share of funding and will reform city pensions to protect workers, while stopping the drain on our budget,” Abraham said.
She said to make sure Philadelphia gets its fair share of education dollars she will take Harrisburg to federal court if necessary, highlighting Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal for comprehensive statewide tax reform to reverse the disinvestment of the Corbett years.
“Adding new recurring revenues from city sources to Governor Wolf’s $160 million pledge to education in Philadelphia would go a long way to addressing the chronic underfunding for schools,” the policy paper states.
Abraham also criticized City Council’s putting off consideration for school funding until after the primary election.
Among her main focuses, are promoting early childhood education, increasing graduation rates and making sure teachers in public schools will have the necessary resources.
Abraham listed specific actions she would take as mayor to get the job done, including:
-Devote $20 million in city funds to jump-start Governor Wolf’s pre-K initiative.
-Fund the Department of Human Services to increase the number of caseworkers — from 10 to 40 — to reduce absenteeism, especially in the early grades.
-Direct Parks and Recreation to expand its activities on school district playing fields and strengthen after-school programs.
-Expand programs where the police department and the school district work together to achieve progressive child-oriented adult supervision so that kids and young adults in the system get consistent messages of good behavior.
-Support the Free Library in the Read by Fourth program.