Cherelle Parker Wants Mandated Year-Round Schooling In Philadelphia

"Our children are no longer working the farms in the summertime," she argues. Plus, Helen Gym picks up a not-uncontroversial endorsement.

Philadelphia mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker, who thinks Philadelphia schools should be open year-round

Philadelphia mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker, who thinks Philadelphia schools should be open year-round (Photo via Cherelle Parker/City Council)

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Cherelle Parker Says Philadelphia Schools Should Be Open Year-Round

For Cherelle Parker’s sake, it’s a good thing that Philadelphia schoolchildren can’t vote. Because Parker wants to take away their long summer breaks.

In her recently released Parker Plan for Education, the former City Councilmember is calling for year-round schooling for Philly kids.

“The whole idea of scheduling in the School District of Philadelphia — it’s antiquated and outdated and doesn’t meet the demands of a 21st-century global economy,” Parker told NBC 10’s Lauren Mayk in an interview released on Tuesday. “Our children are no longer working the farms during the summertime.”

The Parker Plan for Education lacks clarity, so Mayk did her best to get some.

For instance, would year-round schooling in Philadelphia be required? Or is the idea just that Philly schools would have programs available all summer for families who chose to participate? At first, Parker told Mayk that if parents wanted to take their children on vacation for two weeks over the summer, they would be able to notify the school and do just that.

Mayk pressed Parker harder on the mandated vs. non-mandated point, and Parker then said she would, in fact, push for mandated year-round schooling in Philadelphia. But, Parker added, if a Philly kid is “traveling overseas to study in France,” for example, the family could opt out.

Parker also wants school buildings open from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.

So how would Parker pay for all this? She says she doesn’t know how much year-round schooling would cost, telling Mayk, “We can’t quantify that.” But she did say she would increase the district’s portion of property taxes from 55 to 58 percent to help cover the cost.

What does the teachers union think about all this?

“I have not formally and officially spoken to the teachers union,” Parker said.

How many school district buildings are actually capable of operating over the summer, considering a lack of air conditioning and other logistical issues?

“We don’t have the specifics,” Parker admitted.

Sounds solid.

Helen Gym Picks Up a Not-Uncontroversial Endorsement

It seems like not a day goes by without another endorsement for Helen Gym. The latest to get behind Gym: Marc Lamont Hill, the scholar, activist, and Germantown bookstore owner.

“I have never involved myself in a mayoral race,” Hill said in his endorsement video. “But this time, I had to say something. I had to step into the conversation because the stakes are so high. And there are candidates who will pull us in the wrong direction — and at the same time, I’ve been excited and energized by what Helen’s platform has to offer.”

I’m guessing Gym’s team has done the math on getting an endorsement from a guy who was fired as a commentator by CNN (and was publicly admonished by Temple, where he worked) for a speech he gave about Israel and Palestine at the United Nations that had the Anti-Defamation League and other similarly minded organizations outraged.

You can read more about Hill’s thoughts on Israel and Palestine in my 2022 interview with him.

Where the %!@# Are My Taylor Swift Tickets, StubHub?!

That’s exactly what this Main Line family wants to know.

Reader Mail

I love me some reader mail. And you can use this form to send me a letter.

In today’s edition of reader mail, a local reader named Geoff responded to Tuesday’s column, in which I called attention to the Bernard Hopkins endorsement of Allan Domb. “I have to say, this is the first time I recall a boxer endorsing a Philadelphia mayoral candidate,” I quipped.

Here’s what Geoff had to say on Wednesday:

I wanted to let you know that Joe Frazier not only endorsed but actively campaigned for none other than Frank Rizzo … I used to live in South Philly on Rosewood Street, a block from where Rizzo grew up. He would have Wolf Street closed off with a flatbed truck with speakers and bands. Smokin’ Joe was always at these events. He and Rizzo were genuinely close.

And upon further research, he’s exactly right. So thanks, Geoff: I stand corrected.

By the Numbers

30: Migrants who just arrived in Philadelphia on a bus sent from Texas.

7 lbs, 11 ounces: Weight of marijuana found in an air fryer by customs officials in Philadelphia.

22 percent: Portion of the $31 million in overall mayoral fund-raising that can be traced back to PACs.

And from the Squeaker Sports Desk …

In Sixers news, Joel Embiid was named to All-NBA first team — the first member of the team so honored since Allen Iverson in 2005.

Man, that’s a long wait. You know what would be a really good way to celebrate, big guy? With a win in tonight’s Game 6 at home against the Celtics, for a berth in the Eastern Conference championship series. Tip-off’s at 7:30!

I guess because of last year’s terrific Christmas album, the NFL has sentenced the Eagles to play on Santa’s Big Day this year. Against the Giants, no less. At least it’s at home.

The Phils Hang On

The Phils faced off against Toronto for a second time yesterday afternoon, and the start sure lacked the fireworks of Tuesday’s 8-4 win. Except for singles by Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos in the first, the Phils got nothin’ off Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman through the sixth inning. The Jays didn’t do much more, except for a Brandon Belt solo belt (hah!) out of the park in the third. Trea Turner whacked a two-out double in the sixth, but he was stranded there.

Gregory Soto came in for Wheeler in the eighth. Brandon Marsh started the Phils’ half with a walk against new reliever Erik Swanson, and Edmundo Sosa pushed him to second with a sacrifice bunt; he then advanced to third on a Bryson Stott fly. That brought up Trea Turner, who struck out.

In came Seranthony for the ninth, who gave up a single single. Harper started things off for the Phils with a single. Castellanos worked a nine-pitch single off Jordan Romano, bringing Kyle Schwarber up to bat. Dammit, strikeout. Next up: J.T. Realmuto. C’mon, c’mon! OMG, he doubled Harper home! Tie game, with men on second and third and Alec Bohm at the plate. A fielder’s choice nipped Castellanos at the plate. Romano walked Marsh on purpose to get to Sosa, who grounded out to end the inning. Here we go: overtime!

Craig Kimbrel, in for Seranthony, started with a pinch runner on second base — those new rules! But he stayed there, as Kimbrel got two strikeouts and a grounder. Toronto brought in Tim Mayza to pitch, and the Phils parked Sosa on second. Stott struck out, but Turner notched a walk. Bryce Harper to the plate! And he … grounded out. But then:

Holy moly, that’s a win!

Union Young’uns Honored

Three Union players — Jack McGlynn, Quinn Sullivan and Brandan Craig — have been named to the U.S. U20 World Cup team.

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.