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Community Organizations and Programs Deserve the Credit for Being Prepared in the Event of a Teacher’s Strike

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A+ Schools would like to thank all of the community organizations and service providers who came together on short notice to help the families and students who would have been affected by a Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher’s strike. These organizations stepped up and heeded the call to help without the offer of additional funding or program supports. Nearly two dozen social service organizations and agencies knew that we could not fail in providing childcare, food and safe spaces for our students during the school day. The organizations listed below are heroes in our city:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Brothers & Sisters Emerging
  • Center for Family Excellence
  • CitiParks
  • Disability Rights PA
  • Flexable
  • Glen Hazel Rec Center
  • The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
  • Homewood North FIC Center
  • Jeremiah’s Place
  • Lemieux Family Center – Child’s Way
  • Neighborhood Learning Alliance
  • Palisade Playhouse
  • Project Destiny
  • The Center That Cares
  • United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s 2-1-1 Line
  • Urban Academy
  • Voices Against Violence
  • YMCA
  • YouthPlaces, Inc.

A+ Schools also recognizes that there were other organizations and programs throughout many communities who are not listed, but were willing to help as needed.

We encourage the public to stop in and check out the organizations mentioned above; learn about programming, volunteer opportunities, and consider offering financial support. Along with A+ Schools, they were willing to try to ease the burden that our families and students would have borne in the event of a teacher’s strike.

“While we are grateful that students will be in class Friday and families won’t have to scramble for care, there is still so much work to be done in this school district,” said James Fogarty, Executive Director of A+ Schools. “The disparities in student achievement and access to opportunities for all children have not gone away. Making sure that high needs schools have the right leaders and teachers must remain a priority. We’d urge Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) administration and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (PFT) to sit down and discuss ways to transform education at these schools so that students are well prepared for their futures.”

According to PPS, the staff turnover is nearly 30 percent in schools with poverty rates as high as 90 percent. District-wide, 63 percent of students are economically disadvantaged. We see disparities in resources and academic offerings in our high schools, including in advanced placement (AP) and more rigorous courses; whereas Allderdice offers 23 AP courses, compared to three at Westinghouse. We are struggling as a city and district to provide quality education to all students.

Until the root of these issues are addressed, A+ Schools will continue to focus on gaining equitable and excellent academic opportunities and outcomes for all students in PPS.