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2013-2014 School Year in Review!

As the 2013-2014 school year comes to a close, the Philadelphia Student Union would like to remind its supporters of all of the events and actions that took place this year. Severe budget cuts and school closures did not weaken our fight! Check out this timeline of events and actions that happened this past year!

August 12th, 2013

Mayor Nutter announced that the School District of Philadelphia might not have enough money to open the schools on time. PSU and other organizations banded together to protest at the School District Building. We demanded that the city come up with the money needed to open our schools on September 9th.

OpenSchoolsOnTime

Sharron Snyder, a graduating senior at Benjamin Franklin High School and a member of PSU, demands that Mayor Nutter open the schools on time!

September 2013

In March of 2013, the School Reform Commision voted to close down twenty three schools and lay off almost four thousand staff. Many schools have since become overcrowded and now lack the proper resources needed to educate students and create a safe space in which students can learn.

SchoolClosures

This infographic, created by the Opportunity to Learn Campaign, depicts the vicious cycle of school closures.

September 30th, 2013

PSU and other organizations hosted the “Bring the Noise: Disrupt Corporate Education Reform” action outside of the Union League of Philadelphia.

BringTheNoise2

Community members say “NO!” to privatization!

BringThe Noise3

Members of PSU tell wealthy corporations that our education is not for sale.

October 6th, 2013

Nuwar Ahmed, a member of PSU, appeared on MSNBC’s Education Nation Student Town Hall to talk about the work of the Philadelphia Student Union and the education crisis in Philadelphia with Melissa Harris-Perry.

EducationNation

Nuwar Ahmed, a graduating senior at Masterman High School and a member of PSU, tells it like it is with Melissa Harris-Perry!

November 2013

PSU hosted its 2013 Fall Retreat for students!

FallRetreat3

Students discuss what it means for PSU to be a “youth-led” organization at the fall retreat.

FallRetreat2

Students draw their “vision” for what they want their schools to look like. They all ask for high quality schools and safer communities.

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Students and staff dine together and happily raise their glasses of iced tea!

December 9th, 2013

As a member of PCAPS, PSU participated in the National Day of Action to “reclaim the promise of public education” and demanded that the state implement a fair funding formula for all public schools in Pennsylvania!

NatlDayOfAction

February 1st, 2014

PSU hosted the Turn Up 4 the Movement Youth-Led Citywide Assembly at Edison High School! Students from all over the city came together to develop leadership skills and learn about how we can strengthen our movement toward a better public education system in Philadelphia.

TurnUp4Movement

Students from PSU and YUC host the Turn Up 4 the Movement Citywide Student Assembly.

TurnUp4Movement2

Students gather around to talk about history’s underrated heroes.

February 12th, 2014

PSU attended the People’s Hearing on Prison Expansion in Harrisburg to protest against prison expansion and school closures with Decarcerate PA!

DecarceratePA

Sharron Snyder, a member of PSU, tells Governor Corbett to stop building prisons and start funding schools!

DecarceratePA2

PSU and other organizations join Decarcerate PA to protest in our state’s capitol!

April 3rd, 2014 – April 4th, 2014

Students from PSU organized and hosted the Big Listen at Benjamin Franklin High School! PSU members gathered stories and experiences from students in their school and put everything they found into a presentation. With this information about what students want, PSU’s Benjamin Franklin chapter can develop campaigns that will make the high school a better and safer space for students.

BigListen1

Benjamin Franklin students attend PSU’s Big Listen!

May 9th, 2014

PSU attended POWER’s “No Public Education. No Future.” action at City Hall to show Mayor Nutter and City Council that if they do not invest in public education, the potential of our students will surely deteriorate.

FuneralAction

PSU joins POWER at their “No Public Education. No Future.” action.

May 13th, 2014

PSU made a trip to Washington, D.C. with Journey 4 Justice in honor of the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

DCTrip

PSU and other organizations march on Washington in honor of the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. We ask those in power, “Are our schools really separate and equal?”

DCTrip2

Students protest against school closures and the school-to-prison pipeline in Washington, D.C.

We hope that we can accomplish even more in the next school year that we did this year!

About the Author: Kyla J. Ayers is a senior at J.R. Masterman High School and has been an active member of the Philly Student Union since 2011. In the fall, she will be attending the University of Pennsylvania and she plans to major in Biological Basis of Behavior. Working and organizing with PSU has transformed Kyla into a passionate student activst and she plans to continue advocating for Philadelphia’s public schools throughout her college career and beyond.

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