Blog: Expanding Democratic Participation in Public Schools

Posted by Youth United for Change on May 30, 2016


How can public schools play a pivotal role in revitalizing the idea of broad democratic participation? This is a pressing question for YUC, considering the mounting economic and social challenges facing working class communities of color throughout Philadelphia, along with ongoing efforts to rapidly transform the very neighborhoods our young people call home into exclusive wealthy enclaves. We see the plight of public schools and the predicament of the city’s poor and working class neighborhoods as intrinsically linked; when neighborhood public schools are closed, so is the collective future of those living in close proximity. Therefore, reconfiguring public schools as community development institutions is crucial to ensuring students and parents improve the impact and outcomes of the education system, while creating civic spaces that help working class communities of color maintain a foothold in Philadelphia. One way to expedite this process is the expansion of democratic participation in school governance at the hyperlocal level.

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