FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Angel Cruz
Cruz: Put children, education first
HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said Pennsylvania lawmakers, especially those from Philadelphia, missed the mark by voting against key proposals to reform the way the School District of Philadelphia does business.
"It is a sad day for Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania when our lawmakers turn their backs on measures that are aimed at protecting educational opportunities for our children," Cruz said. "My colleagues chose to put education second and continue the lack of oversight over the way money is spent in the School District of Philadelphia."
Cruz said the proposals, which were introduced by state Rep. Mike McGeehan, D-Phila., would prohibit bonus payments for superintendents and would allow the legislature to remove superintendents who are not performing affectively.
McGeehan introduced his proposals as amendments to H.B. 139.
"The money being spent by the school district should be monitored. The district receives $7 million in funding from the Philadelphia Parking Authority and another $55 million from gaming, but no one is scrutinizing where that money is being spent," Cruz said. "I urge Philadelphia residents who care about quality education to ask their legislator which way they voted on this important issue. Let's put the children first."
In light of the failure to pass McGeehan's measures, Cruz said he has introduced a bill (H.B. 1550) that would create a referendum giving voters the option to determine if the School Reform Commission or an elected school board should control a school district of the first class.
"The SRC clearly is not properly managing the superintendent or the district," he said. "My bill would give voters the option to choose the people who are running our school district."
In March, Cruz also introduced a resolution (H.R. 86) urging Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to prevent School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene Ackerman from extending her contract.