Back in Dec 2018, Meek Mill dropped some freestyle on Funk Flex Hot 97. If you heard it close you heard him say it takes superheroes to come off the streets and do the right thing for themselves and their family. Now he’s backing the words up with action. He’s working with his billionaire friends to buy up 13 abandoned Philly schools and make them charter schools.
Philadelphia schools have struggled with money and politics a long time. Because of this, black students are missing out on good educations. In 2017, a Pew Charitable Trust analysis showed lower percentages of black students in Philly’s premier schools.
“There were higher percentages of Asians and whites, and lower percentages of Latinos and blacks.” – Pew Trust Analysis
Philadelphia schools have struggled with money dating back before the dissolution of the state mandated school reform board. The state mandated reform board failed to solve the school systems issues and disbanded in 2017. But the financial and curriculum problems remain.
Today many students cycle through teachers at an alarming rate because the district cannot retain quality full-time teachers.
Budget woes and systemic discrimination of low income black students makes for mix of frustrated students and powerless teachers. Into this mix, Meek Mill and his strong financial backing and, as he puts it “his billionaire friends” continue to fight for reform of the system.
On November 5, Meek tweeted:
“…Can we buy [one of the 30 abandoned schools] and build a super school in our own neighborhood!”
His tweet caught the attention of people in the State house with Senator Vincent Hughes’ office tweeting back ” Let’s talk! @SenatorHughes would love to discuss ways to improve the Philadelphia school system.”
Maybe with the power of Meek and his friends and the blueprint LeBron James works to, there can be a fix for the Philadelphia school system. Maybe we can lift our kids up and out of an unfair cycle. Maybe we make them all superheroes and give them the superpower they need to succeed.
Special Contributor: Dan Bousho