[Fwd: [wlo-news] Re: PFAW news]

Linda Purrington (lpurring@earthlink.net)
Wed, 25 Feb 1998 16:18:49 -0800

Forwarded by Linda Purrington <lpurring@earthlink.net>

Received: from clio.lyris.net (clio.lyris.net [])
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998 18:26:03 -0600 (CST)
To: "Women Leaders Online News and Discussion List" <wlo-news@clio.lyris.net>
From: Jeri Kaesler <jerik@falcon.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: [wlo-news] Re: PFAW news

February 13, 1998

Contact: Delisa Saunders, PFAWF, (202) 467-4999
Dan Willson, NAACP, (410) 358-8900

NAACP, PFAWF Presidents Call for Strengthening Public Schools

Equitable school funding, school vouchers, tuition tax credits and
other hotly debated education issues highlighted an emotional,
day-long historic event Thursday, February 12 at Chicago's Pilgrim
Baptist Church, as NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and PFAWF President
Carole Shields criticized programs that would funnel funds from
public schools.

Sponsored by the NAACP and its Chicago Southside branch and the
People For the American Way Foundation, the Chicago event was part of
a national campaign in support of public education. The event
featured daytime workshops examining public education in Chicago, and
an emotional evening rally featuring Chicago-based and national
clergy, as well as U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Il.); Chicago Bulls
legend and radio host Norm Van Lier; and former Democratic National
Committee Chairman David Wilhelm.

"Vouchers and other tax-diversion proposals are a pernicious,
steal-from-the-poor-and-give-to-the-rich scheme," said NAACP
President and Chief Executive Officer Kweisi Mfume. "They would take
money away from our public school students, give it instead to
private schools, and abandon many of our children in the process. Our
focus should be on keeping strong schools strong, and making our weak
schools better. Education must be a fundamental guarantee for each
child, and for our nation's precious democracy."

"Public schools are important to society," said Carole Shields,
President of the People For the American Way Foundation. "Their
value goes beyond teaching children how to read, write and realize
their dreams. Our families, public institutions, businesses, and even
the crime rate are influenced by how well we prepare the next
generation. We all have a stake in educating every child."

The Partners for Public Education initiative has been endorsed by
more than 50 Chicago community-based organizations, including the
Urban League, the Woodlawn Organization, Kenwood Oakland Community
Organization, Rainbow PUSH and Westside Association for Community
Action. Throughout the month of February, a public education
campaign was waged in Chicago to help inner-city parents understand
how they can strengthen their local schools as well as what is at
stake if they do not. Advertisements appeared throughout Chicago
media, including the Chicago Defender, Chicago SunTimes, Chicago
Tribune, N'Digo, local radio stations and buses and subway cars.
Public education experts argue that vouchers represent bad policy.
No voucher program provides for a private school education for all
students nor do they cover the expense of books, uniforms,
transportation and other necessities. With vouchers it is private
schools that exercise choice, through their admissions decisions.
"They cherry-pick the best and the brightest, leaving the other
children behind to languish in schools that are robbed of precious
funds," explained Furmin D. Sessoms, executive director, Chicago
Southside NAACP. "Skin color, economic class, language group, need
for remedial work -- all of these things would be barriers to
acceptance and success in a system designed around the choices of the
private schools, not the choices of the parents and students."

Endorsers: AME Ministerial Alliance of Chicago and Vicinity; American
Jewish Congress; Abanaya Youth Project; Aunt Martha's Youth Services;
Baptist Ministers Conference of Chicago and Vicinity; Baptist
Ministers Fellowship of Chicago and Vicinity; Rev. Willie T. Barrow;
Better Boys Foundation; Chicago Alliance of Black School Educators;
Chicago Baptist Institute; Chicago Teachers Union; Chicago Teachers
Union Quest Center; Chicago Association of Local School Councils;
Citizenship Education Fund; Community Action Group; Cook County
Commissioner's Office; Rev. Tyrone Crider, New Hope Baptist Church;
Rev. Dr. Floyd W. Davis, Pilgrim Baptist Church; Rev. Leonard
DeVille, Alpha Temple Baptist Church; Ebenezer Lutheran Church Whole
Life Center; Fulfilling Our Responsibilities Unto Mankind; Rev.
Marshall Hatch, New Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. George
Henderson, Greater Garfield Baptist Church; Rev. T.M. Higgenbothan,
Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church; Rev. Gorden Humphrey, Missionary Baptist
Church; Illinois AFL-CIO; Illinois Federation of Teachers; Interfaith
Community Partnership; Interfaith Organizing Project of Greater
Chicago; Rev. Floyd James, Greater Rock Baptist Church; Rev.
Slaughter James, St. Luke's Baptist Church; Jensen Academy; Kenwood
Oakland Community Organization; Rev. Johnny Miller, Mt. Vernon Baptist
Church; NAACP Southside; National African American Parent Involvement
Day; National Council for Jewish Women; New Life New Living Ministries
Adult Literacy; New St. Mark Church -- RTM; North Lawndale Family
Network; Operation PUSH/Rainbow Coalition; The Pastors Network;
Planned Parenthood, Chicago Area; PURE; Rock of Ages Baptist Church;
Rush Harman Square Health Center; The Chicago Urban League; The
Woodlawn Organization; Westside Ministers Conference; Westside
Association for Community Action; Westside Ministers Coalition; Rev.
Marvin Wiley, Rock of Ages Baptist Church; Rev. Janette C. Wilson,
Interfaith Comunity Partnership; Rev. Pedro J. Windsor, Coalition of
Latin American Ministers; 1600 -1800 South Central Park Block Club.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the
nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. People For the
American Way Foundation is a national non-profit organization
dedicated to defending civil rights and promoting the democratic
values of freedom, respect for diversity and tolerance of difference.

To unsubscribe from the People For the American Way Foundation press
release distribution list, send a message to: MAISER@PFAW.ORG with no
subject and the message: UNSUBSCRIBE PRESSLST

To subscribe, send a message to: MAISER@PFAW.ORG with no
subject and the message: SUBSCRIBE PRESSLST
People For the American Way Foundation
2000 M Street NW Suite 400
Washington DC 20036
http://pfaw.org | pfaw@pfaw.org
202 467 4999 | Fax: 202 293 2672

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