Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan has blasted the School District for its move to outsource Head Start services.
He said, “More disturbing than the School District laying off hundreds of early-childhood education workers in favor of outsourcing Head Start services is the increasing acceptance of drastic reductions in the services we provide our children.
“This is yet another example of how disinvesting in public education hurts entire communities. Not only will many School District employees be added to the ranks of the city’s unemployed, but past history gives us little reason to believe private child-care providers can successfully implement the School District’s early-childhood education curriculum.
“This situation echoes past federal audits that revealed the School District’s misuse of Title I funds, and has potentially damaged what had been a nationally lauded early-childhood education program taught by certified, highly qualified instructors. Once again, our children are paying the price for poor fiscal management.
“Parents, educators and community members have been calling for a change in philosophy. Part of that change involves aggressively lobbying Harrisburg to restore public education funding to acceptable levels so that our children don’t continue to bear the brunt of budget cuts. We wish the School District would stand with us in this effort, rather than continuing to facilitate the decline of our education system.”