How can the strengths of Friends Schools support public schools?

  • April 2, 2015 at 9:05 am #1535

    Our public schools are struggling and Pennsylvania’s funding formula for schools is unfair leaving the poorest children with the fewest options.  Meanwhile our Quaker schools have resources and a will to make the world a better place. I’d like to think about how to bring together this set of strengths and needs.

  • May 9, 2015 at 3:03 pm #1536

    Yes, this is a problem. But poor funding is not limited to Pennsylvania. We have the same problem in NJ and I assume also in Delaware. Also, not all Friends Schools have extra resources to take on public school issues. These are issues that all Friends should be concerned with.

  • May 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm #1537

    I teach at a public school in the state of Delaware, where resident voters consider funding referendums a tax they can veto. Resources are an issue, but some things don’t cost much. A few years back, when the head of school introduced the I-to-I program at my daughter’s Quaker School, it was like a thunderbolt: “Why can’t every school in the state have this?”

  • July 15, 2015 at 9:42 am #1539

    First, I think we need to answer what are the strengths of Friends schools? To me, the greatest strength that relates here is that we are a closely connected community with parents and educators who bring many diverse skills to the table and we need to connect with the educators and parents of public schools, who also bring great skills in order to expand the impact we can have. I can think of any number of ways we are already doing this but also know we can do so much more. Public schools and Friends Schools already collaborate on joint studies, service projects, events and professional development for staff, teachers and administrators, sharing expertise and skills with each other, as well as learning from each other. However, the greatest support right now I think has to come from Friends School community members (parents, staff, teachers, meeting members) joining groups advocating for full and defined state funding for public schools, such a PCCY. Second, Friends School community members can become actively involved in their local public school by volunteering, fund raising for special projects, attending school events and celebrations and publicly supporting the school in their personal interactions and in the media. And, the Friends School community can also understand that we do not have the corner on what creates a great education, that democracy depends upon strong community support of public education and that we are all responsible for what happens to all of the children in our city or neighborhood.

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