Philadelphia, Oct. 21, 2015 – City Council President Darrell L. Clarke on Wednesday issued the following statement on Superintendent William Hite’s announcement that the School District of Philadelphia will not attempt to outsource health services personnel:
“Superintendent Hite’s announcement today demonstrates that members of the public who care passionately about our schools are being heard by administrators. I commend the District for its responsiveness and flexibility on a matter of great concern to myself and many of my constituents.
“We all agree that every school should have a full-time nurse to ensure the safety and well-being of our kids, but I continue to doubt that privatization or outsourcing of District personnel is an appropriate alternative. As municipalities across the Commonwealth press for a responsible state budget that restores funding to public schools, we must also keep the conversation going about innovative approaches to public education.
“Since 2014, my staff and I have met with colleges and universities, health and social service providers, and educators across the country as we develop an actionable plan to help the District expand the community schools model. We’ve seen up close that community schools improve education and health outcomes for students and transform neighborhoods.
“Strategically targeting resources that already exist in our City is the most efficient way to strengthen public schools. It is heartening to know that, as Superintendent Hite himself acknowledges, lessons have been learned. Let’s continue to fight for full, fair funding from our state lawmakers, and work with our front-line school personnel to ensure every child, no matter where they live, has an opportunity to succeed.”