Friends & Education

Since its beginnings, Friends have emphasized the importance of education both for its members and for society generally. Friends have held that all persons are potential channels for the Inner Light and that all can benefit from education. Such benefit is more likely if education is spiritual in its nature and objectives, if it draws people ever nearer to a concern for others and strengthens their commitment to live in accordance with spiritual principles.

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Covenant on Education

Out of a continuing concern for the education of all children, the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends calls on all families, meetings, and schools within the Yearly Meeting to support and embrace the following goals:

  • To encourage and support the young people of our Yearly Meeting in getting a right education, whether it be in public schools, Friends schools, or in some other setting;
  • To encourage and support our local public schools and teachers and parents in their efforts to provide an education of great value to the children of our communities, through participation as teachers, members of school boards, advisory councils, advocacy groups, as volunteers, and as advocates for public funding for public education;
  • To affirm our commitment to our Friends schools and their spiritual basis through service as teachers, school committee members, parents and students;
  • To develop the resources to ensure that no Philadelphia Yearly Meeting family seeking an education in a Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Friends school for their child be denied that opportunity for a financial reason;
  • To support Friends who work in Quaker education, and to create a climate that encourages Friends to go into teaching in Friends schools.

As Friends, we should work to strengthen both Friends schools and public education because through both of them we strengthen our community and society.

Approved by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in annual session, 24 July 1999