Corbett Dodges Protestors to Make Nominations

By Alison Burdo
|  Saturday, Jan 25, 2014  |  Updated 3:10 AM EDT
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The event was supposed to be held at Central High, an area that was full of protesters, but the Governor changed venues at the last minute.

NBC10, Matt DeLucia

The event was supposed to be held at Central High, an area that was full of protesters, but the Governor changed venues at the last minute.

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Gov. Tom Corbett announced two nominations to the Philadelphia School Reform Commission as protestors gathered outside a Philadelphia public school.

The governor was set to recognize the success of three Philadelphia public schools at Central High School at 1700 W. Olney Ave., but at the last minute relocated the event to the Bellevue Building at 200 S. Broad St. 

During the ceremony, Corbett announced his nominations of City Councilman Bill Green IV and Farah Jimenez, the chief of the People's Emergency Center, to the SRC. 

Green will fill the vacancy created by the departure of Pedro Ramos and Jimenez will take over Joseph Dworetzky's position.

"Bill Green and Farah Jimenez are strong civic leaders who share my committment to putting our students first," Corbett said. "I am confident that they will bring a high level of passion, energy and spirit of service to support Philadelphia students and perform the critical work of the School Reform Commission."

The unpaid, five-year positions require Senate confirmation.

The nominations come as protestors rallied outside of Central at 1700 W. Olney Ave., where Corbett was originally set to present the high school, along with Julia R. Masterman and Carver high schools, with the Governor's Award for Excellence in Academics Friday morning.

Less than an hour before the event was set to begin, an announcement was made that the governor switched venues.

This was supposed to be his first gubernatorial visit to a Philadelphia public school.

The three Philadelphia public schools attained a score of 90 or higher on the 2012-13 School Performance Profile depite enduring the governor's nearly $1 billion in cuts to school funding througout the state.

"We want to make sure the governor knows what Philadelphia school children are missing in their schools," said Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. "Our children are working with out having all the things necessary that they should have in order to get a good education."

School officials agree that the cuts are hurting the city's schools, but also say the teacher's union could help ease financial strain.

"We want to provide more for students, but we need the funds for it."  said Fernando Gallard, Philadelphia School District spokesman.
 
"We need more money from our partners and we need more savings from our labor partners," he added. "That's what we're looking for."

The first protest, involving students, occurred at 7:30 a.m. outside Central. Around 10 a.m., a group of parents, neighbors and community leaders will march from Broad Street and Olney Avenue to the school, where the demonstration will continue.

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