Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools

Movie Screening: Backpack Full of Cash, Sunday, January 27

Posted on January 22, 2019

The Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools Invites you to a screening of Backpack Full of Cash on Sunday January 27 at 2 pm at the Unitarian Society of Germantown (6511 Lincoln Drive 19119). Ample parking is available behind the building at GPS address 359 W Johnson street, between Greene and Wayne. Light refreshments will be available. Donations are asked (but not required). There will be a Discussion after the film.

Narrated by Matt Damon, this feature-length documentary explores the growing privatization of public schools and the resulting impact on America’s most vulnerable children. Filmed in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Nashville and other cities, BACKPACK FULL OF CASH takes viewers through the tumultuous 2013-14 school year, exposing the world of corporate-driven education “reform” where public education — starved of resources — hangs in the balance.

BACKPACK FULL OF CASH is a cautionary tale about how, in cities like Philadelphia, privatization and funding cuts have had a devastating impact on public schools, and the most vulnerable children who rely on them. The film also showcases a model for improving schools – a well-resourced public school system in Union City, New Jersey, where poor kids are getting a high quality education without charters or vouchers.

BACKPACK features genuine heroes like the principals, teachers, activists, parents and most hearteningly, students who are fighting for their education. Education writer David Kirp, former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, and policy expert Linda Darling Hammond are among the national thought leaders who provide analysis in the film. BACKPACK builds a case for public education as a basic civil right. Local activists (present Councilwoman) Helen Gym, nurse Eileen Duffey (an organizer of Occupy 440), and Youth United for Change (YUC) student activists appear as part of the Philadelphia story.

The movie examines the role of three uber-wealthy families who fund these privatization efforts – Bill and Melinda Gates, the Walton Family, and Eli Broad. Broad started the Broad Superintendents Academy to train administrators to support School Districts and State Education Departments implementing market place options for public education. Philadelphia’s Superintendent William Hite is a 2003 graduate of this uncertified program. Ken Derstine’s blog has several articles describing the objectives, history, and policies of Eli Broad and his various manifestations.

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