This blog will be focused on three (3) things: Philadelphia, Black People & Culture, and Fashion. But that doesn't stop me from posting other things.
I haven’t been able to be on social networking cites very often for the past two weeks or so because (drum roll)… I’m in City Year! Yay me! What is City Year you ask? City Year is a national youth organization dedicated to improving urban education and ending the high school drop-out crisis. City year unites a diverse group of 17-24 year-olds for a year of full-time service. For information about joining the corps or participating in our campaign of idealism, call (267) 386-7035. And yes, I did just copy that from my daily information newsletter. But… while I am on the topic, I would like to make a disclaimer statement, that even though I am a corps member, my thoughts may not reflect those of City Year.
The past two weeks have been about leadership training, team work, understanding the Philadelphia School District, City Year’s History and diversity. It has been a really cool and enlightening experience and I hope to finish off my last two weeks of BTA (Basic Training Academy), with that same mind set. I am not sure of your knowledge of the Philadelphia School District lately but it is CRAZY!!! The budget cuts have been drastic for the past two years. I believe the numbers were somewhere like, we’re $300 million dollars in debt. Over the past couple months, around 4,000 employees were laid off and about 23 schools were closed. What is crazy is that, since the PSD was taken over by the state, Gov. Corbett has significantly cut funding from schools and gave extra money to building of new jails. Yes, more and more people are going to jail, but the only reason that is the way it is, is because we, as a unified people, are not investing in the youth so we can prevent them from even going to jail.
The plan to receive more money is to raise the appeal of Philadelphia, pull people in to live in the city then take money from the rising property taxes. However, people look to the future. The PSD does not have a good reputation at all, so why would people want their children to go there? The state is also allowing for roughly equal school budgets for Philadelphia and the suburbs, which is
stupid, wait… no. I’ll stick with it. Stupid. There are significantly more people in urban communities than in the suburbs. People in the outskirts of Philadelphia often say that they do not care about the PSD problems, because they are not their own. Yet, all hell breaks loose when Philadelphia residents sneak their children in to the suburban school districts for a better educational opportunity for their children.
Philadelphia School District needs an accountant. They need to know how to budget, and budget correctly. Obama passed the stimulus package, which did give the school district more money, however it was only given to them for a limited time. So instead of getting concrete things, they created positions. Positions which they have to release this year. The schools are receiving less teachers and more students. This does not make sense. Anyway, enough of me ranting…
I love City Year (so far). I cannot speak for the entire experience because, simply, I have not experienced it yet. I joined this cause to allow myself room to grow as well as help children who need it. I attended an extremely privileged private school and I would like to see all the children of Philadelphia receive the same chances for education and opportunities for such experiences as I have. That is my goal, and that is why I joined City Year.
For more articles and information about the Philadelphia School District you can go to the Philadelphia School Newsletter / Information Article Thingy of a Website.