[Update: I’ve started a change.org petition to gather support for this issue. Please take a moment to add your name.]
To the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, Soul, Union and Wings,
The kids of Philadelphia are some of your biggest fans. They wear your shirts and hats. They go to your games. They cheer for you. They celebrate with you when you win, and they agonize with you when you lose.
And now, the kids need your help.
I’m sure that you’ve read about the dire conditions facing the School District of Philadelphia. The schools are facing down $300 million in cuts. Next year, the School District isn’t able to provide any funding for counselors for schools… there isn’t even funding for secretaries, and we all know that school secretaries are the ones who really run the schools.
And in that context, the School District has had to de-fund high school athletics.
You can help us there.
Last year, Philadelphia sports teams had over $800 million in revenues. The entire athletics budget of the School District of Philadelphia was $7.1 million this year. Less than one percent of your revenues would fully fund athletics for the students of Philadelphia.
No one needs to tell you how important sports are for kids and schools. You know the joy a community takes in a winning team. You know all the lessons young people learn when they work hard and sacrifice for a team. You know that for so many of our student-athletes, sports are the reason they finish high school. And you know that for so many of our student-athletes, the relationship they have with their coaches are among the most important mentoring relationships in their lives.
We need your help.
We cannot lose all that athletics mean to our schools.
Our kids are your fans, a couple of our kids will be your future stars, our kids are your city.
Fund our student-athletes. They need the chance to play.
Thank you for your time,
Science Leadership Academy
[Philadelphians and friends of Philadelphia – feel free to add your name as co-signers in the comments.]