Mothers Know Best – May 31, 2024



Parents are leading the advocacy efforts to get 250 additional pre-k slots for Philly kids in the city budget. Christina Coleman is one of those parents, and we couldn’t make a better case than her testimony to City Council this week.

My name is Christina Coleman. 

I have two kids, one of which has had the benefit of attending PHLpreK, and being a part of this program has supported the health of not just my daughter, but my entire family.

Before we found PHLpreK, my husband and I were two stressed-out, new parents. We were in between jobs, had a young child that we had to care for, and not enough support to help us figure things out even though we wanted the best for our daughter. The non-stop demands of parenting on a tight budget left me feeling burnt out and exhausted. I wanted to broaden my daughter’s socio-emotional development and expand my parental network, but just didn’t have the capacity.

PHLpreK offered a sustainable path forward. My daughter is now thriving socially and emotionally, making new friends, expanding her language and communication skills by learning a second language, writing her name, and even engaging in public speaking. She explores the world through school field trips and deepens her understanding of diversity by learning about different cultures.

Through PHLpreK, I’ve built connections with other families, enjoyed play dates, and developed a deep interest in early childhood education advocacy.

I want to direct Council to the handout on their desk, Now Is The Time. This handout breaks down the percentage of kids across the city and in your district that are not in pre-k. Fifty-eight percent of kids in Philadelphia are not in pre-k, which is about the share of kids in my district – District 8 – without pre-k.

This is 58% of families who may be facing the same struggles I faced and who have not had the benefit of PHLpreK that I experienced.

I’m thankful that PHLpreK exists, and I want to see more families supported like my family and me. Members of the City Council, I urge you to champion an additional 250 seats of PHLpreK in this year’s budget, so we build strong Philadelphians from the start.

Stop cyber charters from fleecing PA taxpayers! Email your lawmakers to pass sensible reform that will put more money in schools – not cyber charters’ coffers. 

“In the last few years, the four biggest cyber charter schools have been padding their bank accounts from just over a half-million dollars to just under a half-billion dollars. What’s concerning is a lot of that increase is related to the cybers purchasing buildings and land – which shouldn’t be a priority for online schools.” 

– Rep. Joe Ciresi, (D-Montgomery)

Parents want to keep their jobs and family’s financial security so they need reliable, quality, affordable child care. This can only happen with the a substantial financial investment by leaders in Harrisburg.

Sign a petition to lawmakers telling them to prioritize child care in the state budget.

Sometimes what should be front-page news
never makes the cut… Everyone should know
which legislators are trying to improve all
public schools, and which legislators are willing
to throw public schools under the bus. This
year, more than ever, such information is
needed. After all, it’s an election year, and the
people we elect will determine the future of
our schools and our precious children

– Mardys Leeper in an Investigador letter to the editor