Editor’s Note: School Talk is an occasional feature that will look at education and parenting issues in South Philly. If you have concerns, ideas or other thoughts about the state of schools and ways to keep improving them, email us at email@example.com.
The struggle is never-ending. Young families have to figure out whether to stay in the city they love or decamp for the better schools of the suburbs.
Inga Saffron covered this turf in the Inky last week with a spotlight on Chester A. Arthur elementary in Graduate Hospital, where a friends group consisting mostly of people who don’t yet have kids in the school has raised $350,000 for enrichment programs.
With the state seemingly unwilling, and the city unable, to help the Philadelphia School District out of its financial hole, the Friends group has assembled an impressive roster of private funders to fill the breach: Wells Fargo, Keystone Mercy, Pennoni Engineers, Olin Landscape Architects, Drexel University, and Children’s Hospital. Their donations, both cash and in-kind, have enabled the Friends to build the school’s first playground, hire the Walnut Street Theatre to manage a drama program, and buy supplies for the school’s Civil Engineering Club.
That’s certainly an impressive feat, and they plan to raise another $2 million, but the question is, can that formula be replicated in other parts of the city? $2 million is a hole lot of money to raise.
What do you think?