We are so grateful to the many PA members and friends who contributed to the fund we set up to enable low-income Durham residents to ride the bus to the Poor People’s Campaign Rally and March in DC on June 23rd.
The total donations we received enabled 37 Durham families -- who otherwise wouldn't have been able to travel to DC -- to participate in the Poor People’s Campaign Call to Action. These include families active in a number of grassroots organizations in Durham, including the NAACP, All of Us or None, End Poverty Durham, Real Durham, the Religious Coalition for a Non-Violent Durham, and Rutba House among others.
In a joint letter to Dr. Eric Hall, PA and the Durham NAACP expressed their concern for and opposition to the privatization of Glenn Elementary School. Please read the letter below.
October 9, 2017
The Durham People’s Alliance and the Durham NAACP are writing you today to express our concern for, and opposition to, considering Glenn Elementary School as part of the Innovative School District. As two community organizations that strive to represent the values and best interest of the citizens of Durham, we ask you to hear our request that you allow our city to maintain local control of all of our schools, and work with our elected school board to continue to improve them. Our community is strong, and we know what is right for our children. Privatization of Glenn Elementary is not what we want or need.
Durham is not blind to the struggles at some of our schools. Our public school system serves all children, including those with high cost special needs and high percentages for whom English is not their first language. As you know, DPS demographics are 82% children of color and 65% free and reduced lunch.
We recognize and share the belief that our struggling schools need support to successfully serve our children.
Instead of taking over and privatizing Glenn, we want the state to increase per pupil funding to the levels we enjoyed before the recession. This would allow us to restore teaching positions, instructional assistant positions, and equipment and supplies. With increased funding and flexibility through Restart programs and school improvement grants, we will have the tools needed for growth with one clear difference: our school stays a part of our community system, governed by the board that our community elected, and accountable to the families of the children that attend them. We do not want our schools controlled by a board in Raleigh. We do not want the decisions made for our public schools dictated by a private charter program.
Our organizations know and support the incredible work already being done by the dedicated faculty, staff, and leadership at Glenn Elementary with very limited resources and many students struggling with complex needs. We know that we want to continue to fight for more resources and more flexibility to help this school grow. We ask you today to allow that to happen outside of the Innovative School District. This is not the innovation that Durham wants, or feels is best for our children.
We appreciate your time and consideration of our communities’ request.
The Durham People’s Alliance
The Durham NAACP