Spruce Hill Community Association letter to parents in Penn Alexander kindergarten line

January 23, 2012

The Spruce Hill Community Association distributed a letter to the dozens of parents waiting in line yesterday to register their children for kindergarten next year calling on “the community” to “make itself heard.” The letter also restates the association’s stance that every child living within the school’s catchment boundaries has a right to attend Penn Alexander.

The letter begins:

“No one should have to line up in the cold for nearly 24 hours to register their child for kindergarten.”

A full copy of the letter is below.

Kindergarten registration began for schools across the District this morning, including at the Henry C. Lea School, which has received a lot of attention in recent months thanks to the work of the West Philly Coalition of Neighborhood Schools.

Pas Letter

8 Comments For This Post

  1. Anon Says:

    Students have a “right” as in a “right to attend” PAS? That word, SHCA, I do not think it means what you think it means…

  2. Sarah Says:

    I think the real story here is how strongly parents DO NOT want to send their children to Lea and other schools. Obviously a number of factors here, but Penn’s “investment” is really a pseudo-privitization of a “public school” for their own grad students and faculty that is not benefiting the whole neighborhood. Kudos to the West Philly Coalition to improve the actual problem, not just provide better education for those privileged enough to own in PAS district and wait in line overnight.

  3. suzanne Says:

    oh blah blah blah. let’s change the record, please. it is just plain stupid to claim a “right” to a specific public school unless you are ok with over crowded classrooms. and even then the “right” will not be able to be implemented at some point. WAKE UP PEOPLE. PAS does not have a holo-deck with infinitely expandable walls/teachers/resources. IT IS A FINITE ENTITY.

    the only “right” is to a public education. and that does NOT mean “superior” it means “good enough”, meeting “adequate” standards. get real. i’m so tired of all of this posturing.

  4. Anna Says:

    Hey, Spruce Hill, I have an idea: how about you do some good old-fashioned door-knocking next year and find out how many children are actually eligible for kindergarten in the catchment and whether the line is even necessary? AGREE, this goes for you too.

  5. LW Says:

    Penn’s “investment” is really a pseudo-privitization of a “public school” for their own grad students and faculty that is not benefiting the whole neighborhood.

    This is true I think.

    The school is often referred to as a subsidy by Penn for the school district. But as the area becomes gentrified and locals move out, it really has turned out that the school district is subsidizing Penn, by providing for free the buildings/campus for local Penn employees to send their kids to. Penn really gains a lot more in this way than it actually puts into the school.

    Maybe one solution would be for Penn to pay the school district a fair price for the PAS campus and buildings, for the school district to invest in other local schools. But as Penn is mercenary with regard to the locals, and the school district is corrupt and incompetent, I don’t see that happening.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve often heard the statement, “Penn built this school for us.” I’m not going to attempt to unpack just who the “us” may be but people should know that, while Penn donated the land, the Philadelphia School District spent ~$18 million building PAS. Should Penn have paid to build the school? Maybe but the PSD is not exactly known for its bargaining skills and can’t really fault Penn for taking advantage of that (everyone does). Even with the $1,330 per student subsidy for 550 students for the last 10 years, Penn hasn’t come anywhere near the amount invested in the school by ALL taxpayers of the city of Philadelphia for the PAS building. To demand essentially that the school be expanded and refuse to address who exactly will be paying for it is disrespectful to the people that paid for the building in the first place: a much more inclusive “us.”

  7. Anonymous1 Says:

    LW: Many families at PAS have nothing to do the university. In fact, many families move into the catchment area for the sole purpose of sending their kids to PAS.

  8. LW Says:

    Anon1 – I agree that many parents are non-Penn (but many are too), but that does not mean that Penn does not promote PAS and the catchment as a ‘safe’ neighborhood for faculty and researchers to live in and walk to work.

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