Mayor Michael A. Nutter launched the Philadelphia Education Supplies Fund, a multi-year fundraising effort to provide additional money to all District-managed, Charter and Archdiocesan K-12 schools for supplemental classroom supplies. The fundraising goal is $500,000 by October 15, 2013 and $2.5 million over the next five years.
His prepared remarks are as follows. Please check against delivery:
“I want to thank you all for coming this morning. Before we get started with today’s announcement, I want to thank all of students, teachers, school administrators and staff for the tremendous start to the new school year.
I got to visit quite a few schools and educational programs with the beginning of the year. It has been a difficult few months preparing for the new year but I am incredibly proud of everyone who worked together to make the opening of schools really successful.
Education is, of course, one of the most important indicators of a young person’s potential for success.
I believe that every child deserves a high-quality education and positive learning experience in a safe environment. Over the years, I have reaffirmed this commitment to education and our children time and time again.
In the last three years, the City of Philadelphia has increased its annual funding to the School District by $155 million. We will continue to work with the District to find additional funding, push for a state-wide funding formula to ensure every district in the state receives the funding it deserves and push for the funding initiatives the City has already proposed to be passed by the state legislature.
In addition, we’re asking the PA General Assembly to approve a cigarette tax for Philadelphia that will provide $80 million a year for the District.
We are asking the City Council to pass the sales tax extension to provide $100s of millions more in education funding.
And, we’re calling on Governor Corbett to release $45 million in state funding.
That being said, I want to focus on what brings us all here today.
I have said many times that we all have a role to play in supporting the next generation of Philadelphians, whether it be volunteering on a Walk Safe PHL route, mentoring a young person or providing a summer job opportunity.
Today, I am announcing a new fundraising campaign called the Philadelphia Education Supplies Fund. This campaign will raise money to provide additional funds to schools to purchase supplemental classroom supplies like pens, paper and workbooks to every K-12 school in the City.
That means District-managed, Charter and Archdiocesan school in the City can receive extra money to keep their classrooms well stocked.
I want to note that for District schools, this will be additional discretionary money on top of the $100 allotment each teacher receives for classroom supplies.
This is a small but important opportunity for every Philadelphian, whether you have children or not, to support the children of this City, their schools and the future of our great City.
Remember, the Philadelphia Education Supplies Fund is a fundraising challenge.
I have heard from many people who are interested in helping and getting involved in public education. There are many ways – while we still need support from Harrisburg and from City Council to pass the sales tax extension to get millions of dollars for the District – today’s announcement is an immediate opportunity for our citizens, non-profits, small businesses and corporations to help us support education in this City.
Our goal is to raise $500,000 for the Fund by October 15th. To help kick-off the fundraising efforts, I am excited to announce that the City of Philadelphia will be contributing $200,000 this year and a total of $1 million over the Five Year Plan to the Philadelphia Education Supplies Fund.
Our total goal is raise $2.5 million over the next five years.
Many of you probably remember a similar fundraising effort we started a few years ago, the Splash and Summer Fund. In the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, the City was facing serious budget constraints of its own.
And to balance the budget, we knew we had to make unpopular cuts – including a proposal to close our public pools. Through a lot of hard work and the generous support of sponsors and the public, we raised enough money for the Splash and Summer Fund to keep our public pools open.
This is another opportunity for the public to work with the City and support our City.
Our partner and the administrator of the Philadelphia Education Supplies Fund will be the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. I’d like to bring up its President and CEO Jill Michal to say a few words.”