Resolution 7:18:07 Endorse the OCOS Budget and Join the OCOS Coalition

Authors: Seth Kulick, Kate Cairns, Ron Whitehorne, Gregory Laynor

Co- Sponsors: Sandra Lane, Ryan Crump, Patty Eakin, James Cersonsky

Whereas, public education is a key site in the interlinked struggles for economic, gender, and racial justice, critical to the fight for working class power against austerity, and essential to democracy, socialists must be active in defending public education against the reactionary efforts to destroy it, and further, building the conditions in which students can learn and thrive;

Whereas, until recently the School Reform Commission (SRC) used its undemocratic control to impose a neoliberal “reform” agenda on Philadelphia schools; and,

Whereas, the Our City Our Schools (OCOS) coalition is bringing together teachers, parents, students, unions, faith leaders, and organizations at the forefront of fighting for education, workers, immigrants and racial justice; and,

Whereas, OCOS led the efforts to end the SRC, demonstrating the value of a coalition that brings together key groups in the fight for education justice; and,

Whereas, labor solidarity is a priority for DSA, and the OCOS coalition provides an opportunity to stand in solidarity with labor unions and groups including the Caucus of Working Educators, AFSCME DC 47, AFSCME 1199C, AFT Local 2026, PASNAP, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, SEIU 32BJ, Taxi Workers Alliance, and UNITE HERE Local 634; and,

Whereas, while the ending of the SRC is a victory for local control, new areas of activism now open up, in particular the struggle over funding, and the City’s failure to confront the local 1% to force them to adequately fund education; and,

Whereas, OCOS put forth a “Proposal for Equitable School Funding” that calls on the City to end the 10-year tax abatement, to fund a feasibility study of a Philadelphia public bank, and to force corporations, developers, and mega nonprofits like the University of Pennsylvania to pay their fair share toward funding Philadelphia schools; and,

Whereas, the OCOS budget is not only a document for the immediate budget season, but also a long-term program for equitable local revenue that lays out a clear set of commitments for ongoing work in the future; and,

Whereas, socialists can play an important role in public education activism by promoting

both socialist analysis and activism around education, linking education to other areas in society and the underlying capitalist logic;

Therefore be it resolved, that Philly DSA will sign on to a list of supporters of the Our City Our Schools coalition. This commitment will hold for a one year period, at which point it will be subject to a vote of renewal by the general membership; and

Be it further resolved, that the Local Initiative/Local Action Committee’s (LILAC) Education Interest Group will function as an ad hoc committee consisting of Seth Kulick, Kate Cairns, Ron Whitehorne, Anlin Wang, and Eamon Caddigan. This committee will take responsibility for managing Philly DSA’s involvement in OCOS, informing members of OCOS activities and encouraging participation in coalition meetings, events, and political actions. This encouragement will be done through the outreach bulletin and texting where appropriate; and,

Be it further resolved, that Philly DSA will endorse the OCOS Proposal for Equitable School Funding; and,

Be it further resolved, that Philly DSA members involved in OCOS will work with the Political Education Committee to organize events advancing a socialist perspective on public education in Philadelphia.

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