Parker Plan for Education

  • Schools open from 7:30am – 6:00pm for before and after-school enrichment
  • Year-Round Schooling
  • High schools partner with businesses, city departments, and the Building Trades to provide training for jobs that are available and needed, as well as partnering with colleges and universities to provide best-in-class preparatory training for students who are college-bound

Cherelle Parker doesn’t just talk about school funding – she gets it done. 

When the Philadelphia School District was on the verge of financial collapse, Cherelle worked with Republicans and Democrats as chair of the Philadelphia delegation in Harrisburg to pass a plan that raised $148 million and prevented layoffs of teachers and support staff while keeping neighborhood schools open. She has the relationships and know-how to continue to lead the fight to fund our public schools. 

As a former public school teacher and mother of a ten-year-old, she knows what schools need for our kids to succeed. Cherelle also knows that what happens outside of our schools is just as important, and has a plan to keep our neighborhoods safer, cleaner, and greener.

That’s why Cherelle is introducing the Parker Plan for Education, and its cornerstone for better schools, increased economic opportunity, a more affordable place to live, and violence prevention: allowing kids to stay in school with enriching programs before and after classes and through the summer.

The Parker Plan for Education will transform how we think about public schooling, and will be paid for by leveraging existing funding, with new state and city funding, Cherelle will make Philadelphia a national leader in public education.

The Parker Plan for Education: Create Full Day, Full Year Education for all Students in Philadelphia

Philadelphia students need to be prepared for a modern economy, but Philadelphia’s public school system is stuck in the past. Elementary schools are open for 6 hours and 39 minutes a day – sometimes not beginning until 9 am. The short school day means that kids miss out on extra curricular activities like language, art, music, sports, coding, and the kinds of enrichment that lead to a strong educational foundation, college scholarships, and a better future. Schools should also be places where children learn the fundamentals like cooking and balancing a checkbook, and also topics such as getting an introduction to entrepreneurship – all without taking time away from the necessary basics of education.

Additionally, the current school schedule does not work for working parents who juggle caring for their children and their livelihood. Leaving them to piece together before- and after-school and summer care – if they can. As a city, we need to recognize that many times the only child care options that are available are unaffordable or undesirable for working Philadelphians.

Every Philadelphia child should have access to the education they need for a future in college or a good job, and every parent should have the economic freedom to earn a living while raising a family. 

Our high schools will offer athletics, college courses in partnership with our universities, apprenticeship programs in partnership with the Building Trades, and career training in partnership with City of Philadelphia departments and private industry. Our neighborhoods and communities are rich in human resources that can offer broad programming that will keep kids in school and on track for graduation.

The School District of Philadelphia has used COVID relief funds to keep almost half of all schools open during the summer to address pandemic learning loss. Cherelle knows we can learn from that experience about what works and what doesn’t and build out from that model.