Chance The Rapper Launches Arts And Literature Fund For Chicago Public Schools

Grammy-winning artist Chance the Rapper is continuing to use his platform to give back to the city of Chicago. According to the Huffington Post, during a press conference on Friday, he announced the launch of the New Chance Arts and Literature Fund—an initiative designed to provide supplies and equipment for arts and reading programs in Chicago public schools.

From the Huffington Post:

This new fund will be a partnership with Ingenuity, a local arts education advocacy group. He said that the program will work towards giving supplies and equipment for reading and arts programs in schools that have seen a decrease in five-year graduation rates. The funding will begin in the fall for the 2017-2018 school year.

“As an artist and an after-school teacher, I know that the arts are essential. They teach kids invaluable lessons,” Chance told reporters.

“We’re working with Ingenuity. There are literally thousands of arts programs we want to implement,” the rapper said.

The Chicago Bulls announced that they will donate $1 million to further the rapper’s efforts to better the city’s public schools, reports the outlet.

In March, Chance the Rapper vowed to donate $1 million to Chicago public schools as they are in the midst of budgetary issues.

SOURCE: Huffington Post


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Pennsylvania Pol Says Poor Black Kids From Philly Shouldn’t Go To College

A Pennsylvania politician is catching deserved heat for saying that children from Philadelphia’s “inner city” public schools would do better in vocational careers rather than college because they are dropping out anyway. He says they would succeed in a less rigorous track.

Last month, Senate Education Committee chairman John Eichelberger reportedly said during a town hall meeting that he blames failing urban school systems for minority students dropping out of college.

We’re “pushing [students] toward college, and they’re dropping out. They fall back and don’t succeed, whereas if there was a less intensive track, they would.”

Yet, according to the Carlisle Sentinel, Eichelberger also said state funding was being “misspent” on such students and that they should instead be encouraged to pursue vocational programs.

Basically the pol put onus on the students to pay for the failure of public schools, setting them up for a life that does not include higher education.

Democratic Sen. Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia said Eichelberger should be removed from the committee chairmanship, according to the Pittsburgh Courier.

Let’s be clear, this issue about the stereotyping of Black and Brown children needing less-intensive tracks to succeed has been around for generations, maybe even centuries,” he added.

Eichelberger, who is a Republican, responded by saying he was the “victim” of a fake news story.

Well, I have finally been the victim of a fake news story,” the statement reads. “The Carlisle Sentinel did a convoluted and incomplete story about my town hall meeting last week, the Democrats decided to spin it even further, and other liberal media outlets followed along.”

He added, Hughes “is calling me a racist because I spoke about the failing schools in Philadelphia, located in minority neighborhoods, not preparing their students for college. He’s trying to say that since the kids are Black, that I think they’re not capable of learning. Wrong. I see the potential of these children and want to see them succeed.”


SOURCE: Carlisle Sentinel, Pittsburgh Courier


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Emory University Offers ‘The Power Of Black Self-Love’ Course

Colleges and universities across the country have offered an array of thought-provoking courses related to African-American culture. Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia recently added a new course to its curriculum centered on Black self-love.

The class, titled The Power of Black Self-Love, is taught by Dianne Stewart, an associate professor of religion and African-American studies at the institution. It delves into how the concept of self-love amongst African-Americans is perceived in this generation.

During the class, students explore how Black social movements have contributed to empowerment within the African-American community. Topics discussed during the course include the “Black Girl Magic” hashtag, Black Twitter and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The course was conceptualized by Stewart and Donna Troka, an adjunct assistant professor in Emory’s Institute for the Liberal Arts. The two educators wanted to bridge two classes they were teaching together. Prior to the new course, Stewart taught a class titled Black Love, which explored how political, social and cultural events throughout history affected Black marriages and families.

“So many of these issues compel an exploration of black people’s history with love and lovelessness in North America,” Stewart says in the school’s press release. “The challenges racial justice activists confront today mirror the obstacles activists faced during the U.S. civil rights movement and earlier periods. Across such movements, the emphasis on love, or the lack thereof, deserves interrogation and reflection.”

Troka taught a course titled Resisting Racism: From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter, that explored how Black social activism has changed throughout history. A discussion in Troka’s class inspired her to team up with Stewart to create a new course. “We were talking about the Black Lives Matter movement — what it means to assert your own humanity, to love oneself as a black person in today’s society — when a student began telling me about Dianne’s ‘Black Love’ class,” she said.

Ever since the inception of The Power of Black Self-Love course, there has been a diverse group of enrollees. “These are some amazingly sharp students who have engaged in difficult — and sometimes vulnerable — conversations,” says Troka. “Many have had to learn to negotiate environments that were sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly against them, and are now thinking about it theoretically, culturally and personally.”

At the end of the course, students are asked to deliver presentations that highlight their definition of Black self-love. One of the students explored #BlackGirlMagic on the Emory campus through images. Another student did a presentation that examined Black masculinity and self-love.

Although Stewart is teaching the course, she says she’s learned so much from her students. She believes the valuable dialogue that happens in her classroom is relevant and imperative during a time where racial tensions throughout our country have been heightened.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” says Stewart. “It’s been so rewarding, such a powerful experience. Rich conversations have emerged, and I really learned a lot about where students are and how much critical, revolutionary conversation is happening within social media around the topic of black self-love.”

SOURCE: Emory University


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NEWS ROUNDUP: Chattanooga School Bus Driver Charged In Deadly Crash…AND MORE

Johnthany Walker, 24, the man behind the wheel during the deadly Chattanooga school bus crash that took place on Monday, killing five children, has been charged. Police charged him with vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving. He is currently being held on $107,500 bail. He’s slated to appear in court on November 29. According to reports, he was speeding over the 30 mph speed limit before the bus veered off the road, flipped over, and slammed into a tree, police say. About 35 students from Woodmore Elementary School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, were aboard the bus. “We are heartbroken for all of our students and their families,” said Hamilton County Schools Interim Superintendent Kirk Kelly. “Yesterday was the worst day that we had.” Read more.

Education Secretary John B. King Jr. Wants to Abolish Paddling

Education Secretary John B. King Jr. is calling on governors and educators to ban paddling practices within schools. King believes teachers who use the practice should be charged with “criminal assault or battery.” In a letter issued on Tuesday, King noted there are alternative ways to discipline students. “The practice has been clearly and repeatedly linked to negative health and academic outcomes for students,” King said. “It is opposed by parent organizations, teachers unions, medical and mental health professionals and civil rights advocates as a wholly inappropriate means of school discipline. There are better, smarter ways to achieve safe and supportive school environment.” Paddling is currently legal in 22 states. Some of those are Alabama, Florida, and North Carolina. According to the Education Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection, Black and disabled students were disproportionately affected by the practice during the 2013-2014 school year. Read more.

CNN Guest Drops The ‘N-Word’ On Air

During a segment on CNN related to race, politics, and President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to appoint Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, things took a left turn. The segment featured Brooke Baldwin, former New York Times journalist Charles Kaiser, and GOP political commentator Paris Dennard. When Kaiser tackled Baldwin’s question surrounding whether or not Trump’s statement about disavowing the Alt-Right was enough, he replied, “If you don’t want to support the Alt-Right, don’t choose as a White House counselor a man who uses the word n****r.” Both Dennard and Baldwin looked shocked after the statement. “We’re done,” Baldwin said when the interview was over. “The more I’ve sat here and listened to the fact that someone used the N-word on this show. It is not OK. It is not OK, Charles Kaiser.” Kaiser claimed that he was simply quoting Bannon to illustrate his character. Read more.

Lawyers Ban Together to Oppose Steve Bannon Appointment

Over 15,000 lawyers have banned together to show their opposition towards President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to appoint Steve Bannon as chief strategist. The letter, co-written by Nancy Leong, associate professor at University of Denver Law School, has garnered thousands of signatures. “As attorneys, we swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. We committed to protect the institutions upon which our democracy depends. We committed to provide zealous representation for all our clients, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic,” read the letter. “Mr. Bannon has demonstrated his opposition to the stable, democratic form of government that our profession embraces and strives to maintain.” Leong plans to send the letter to Congress. Bannon, who served as the executive of Breitbart News, has been accused of being racist, sexist, and homophobic. Read more.

Nia Long Lands Role on ‘Empire’

Actress Nia Long has been cast for Fox’s Empire. According to Fox, Long will play the recurring role of Giuliana; a club owner from Las Vegas who tries to strike a deal with Lucious. Other stars that have joined the cast include Mariah Carey, Taye Diggs, French Montana and Birdman. There is no word on when Long will make her Empire debut. She currently stars on Lifetime’s Beaches. Read more.


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‘White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men’ Fliers Posted On Dallas Campus

Racial tensions are spilling onto college campuses nationwide. Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, is one of the most recent to be affected by racism after fliers were found on campus urging White women to refrain from dating Black men, according to the Huffington Post.

The leaflets, titled Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men, were found at a dorm on Sunday. Featuring images of blonde White women and African-American men, the text listed several reasons why White women shouldn’t enter interracial relationships. Amongst them were that Black men are “more likely to be abusive,” they are “more likely to give you STD’s” and procreating with a Black man will affect the intelligence of your child. The flier also featured domestic abuse stories that involved African-American men and White women.

An “alt-right” logo is included on the flier, a term derived from the right-wing views of White nationalists. Southern Methodist University is currently investigating the incident. The institution issued a statement condemning the occurrence. “Two offensive fliers were found Sunday night in two stairwells in a residence hall and were reported to University officials, who are investigating this incident,” said university officials. “SMU condemns the racist and hateful message in these fliers. These messages have no place at SMU and are in opposition to SMU’s values and commitment to an environment free from discrimination.”

The incident left many people on edge, but several SMU students used it as a way to spark conversations surrounding diversity on campus. Other schools that have dealt with racist propaganda recently include the University of Michigan and the University of Oklahoma. Following President-elect Donald Trump’s win, there have been several reports of racial harassment on college campuses; including Baylor University where a Black student was shoved by a White man on her way to class.

SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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DJ Khaled Teaches Kids His Major Keys For ‘Get Schooled’ Campaign

DJ Khaled has yet another key to success: keeping kids in school.

Khaled is the new spokesperson for the Get Schooled campaign, which encourages kids to stay in school and offers information about financial aid and scholarships for higher education.

Get Schooled was founded five years ago through a partnership with Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The organization’s site says its goal is to “empower and engage young people and to give them the tools and inspiration to get the education they need to succeed.

The latest commercial finds a teenager looking at Snapchat during class when DJ Khaled says “Did you just look at your phone in class? Congratulations, you played yourself.” Khaled shares a few more Major Keys with the kid before suddenly appearing in his classroom to urge everyone to stay in school.

Watch the light-hearted commercial up top.

SOURCE: Get Schooled | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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Dept. Education Addresses Homeless Student Crisis

To help the growing number of homeless students stay on track, the U.S. Department of Education released guidance to states and school districts. It highlights the new provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act for supporting homeless youth.

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., said, “Homeless children and youth face a number of barriers to getting the education they deserve and the services they need to succeed in school and beyond.”

Student homelessness is increasing, according to a recent report by the nonpartisan advocacy group Civic Enterprises. During the 2013-14 school year, an estimated 1.3 million students were homeless — a 7 percent increase from the previous year.

That estimate, certainly an undercount, is double the homeless student rate seven years ago. It’s a problem that disproportionately affects students of color and those who identify as LGBT.

Some homeless students overcome the challenges, even managing to earn valedictorian honors on graduation day. But in the vast majority of cases, these young people tend to lag significantly in the academic and socio-emotional areas of their life. They also tend to slip further behind with every move, the department noted.

King’s parents died when he was a child, causing him to move frequently in his youth. So, he understands how instability affects homeless students.

“I know from my own experience and from my conversations with homeless students that school can save lives,” King stated. “It is our hope that the guidance we are releasing today will serve as a tool to help states and districts better serve homeless children and youth – we can and we must do better.”

The new provisions go into effect on Oct. 1.

SOURCE: Dept. of Education | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter


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Tyran Bell isn’t a typical kid. His mom hasn’t been working regularly to care for his hospitalized uncle, and it’s back-to-school time. So, he hatched a plan to help.

The Wilmington, North Carolina, student posted an offer on Facebook to mow lawns so he could purchase his own school supplies, reports WECT-TV.

“She won’t have to buy me and my brother’s school supplies, and I will just buy that. She could just worry about paying the bills and helping my uncle out,” Tyran, 10, told WECT.

He rolled up his sleeves and mowed some lawns. Mission accomplished. The Gregory Elementary student and his brother now have more than enough supplies to get them through the upcoming school year. In fact, the supplies and donations overflowed, so Tyran decided to share what he collected with other students in need.

Tyran’s hard work and kindness inspired others, such as Theresa Babb, a local business owner.

“He’s 10 years old. And for a 10-year-old to take that initiative and want to help his mom because she was struggling, I just thought that was amazing,” Babb told the news station.

She collected supplies and donations from her staff to help Tyran. Babb plans to donate the excess to social workers who will distribute the supplies in the community.



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Black Lives Matter Calls For Education Reform

A movement that’s better known for demanding changes in the criminal justice system has turned its attention to education equality. Black Lives Matter is calling for several reforms in the K-12 system, The Atlantic reports.

The activists told The Atlantic that they’re focusing on education because the public school system fails to educate many students of color, putting higher education out of reach for them. The movement sees an opportunity to empower parents and communities.

NBC News reported that Black Lives Matter recently released a platform, which the movement described as a “clear vision of the world where Black humanity and dignity is the reality.” The platform consists of six core demands and 40 policy priorities.

The coalition’s education proposals call for, among other things, fair state-level education funding formulas, a moratorium on charter schools, and the removal of police from schools.

Jonathan Stith, the national coordinator for the Washington-based Alliance for Educational Justice and one of the lead authors, told The Atlantic that these proposals are a starting point.

“It’s always been clear what we’re against, but [articulating] what we’re for, what we want to see, was a real labor,” he told the magazine.

The Atlantic said the proposal has already drawn criticism from those who view charter schools as a positive alternative to failing public schools. Those detractors dismiss claims that charter schools drain public schools of resources and leave many students behind in poorly performing schools. They also criticize the reform movement for aligning too closely with teachers unions.

SOURCE: AtlanticNBC News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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Word Of The Week: Distinct [EXCLUSIVE AUDIO]

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The Ed Lover Show brings you the Word of the Week! In honor of self-education, Ed Lover & Monie love bring you a new word every week, and then provide the definition and even a… semi-correct usage of it in a sentence! Click on the audio player to hear this hilarious exclusive clip from the show now!

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Obama Admin To Direct Public Schools On Transgender Bathroom Access

Obama administration to tell public schools to allow transgender students to use bathroom of choice

President Barack Obama plans to issue a directive to public schools telling them to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their identity, CNN reports.

School districts will receive a letter on Friday from the Departments of Education and Justice that provides guidance on the directive. The Obama administration said the goal is to ensure that “transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment.”

According to CNN, the directive does not have the force of law, but wields the power of cutting off federal funding to school districts that fail to comply.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued this statement:

“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex. This guidance gives administrators, teachers and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies.”

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. made the following comment:

“We must ensure that our young people know that whoever they are or wherever they come from, they have the opportunity to get a great education in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence.”

This comes on the heels of a legal showdown between the Obama administration and North Carolina. On Monday, the DOJ and North Carolina filed competing lawsuits over the state’s law that requires people to use public bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate.



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Yo-Yo On How She Uses Hip-Hop To Educate Students [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

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Legendary rapper, and Intelligent Black Woman Coalition founder and creator, Yo-Yo chats with Monie Love backstage during the “Boom Music Festival: Evolution of Hip Hop” after totally killing it onstage!

She talks about her Yo-Yo’s School of Hip-Hop, which uses music to teach writing, math, science and more arts and academics to students. Plus, they talk about their 25-year friendship! Click on the audio player to hear more in this exclusive interview on the “Ed Lover Show.”


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What A Deep South School District Can Teach About Integration

More than six decades after Brown v. Board of Education, students of color and those from low-income families are still largely concentrated in poor performing schools that lack resources. Many argue that forced busing and other efforts have failed.

The Hechinger Report spotlighted a school district in the Deep South that offers a lesson on school integration.

Since the 1970s, students in Clinton, Miss. have attended integrated schools that balance race and socioeconomic background. Rather than organizing schools in the district by neighborhoods, Clinton organizes by grade level. In other words, there’s just one school for each grade in the district of about 5,000 students.

Hechinger said the district’s former superintendent Virgil Belue spearheaded that way of organizing schools in the district. He sold the idea to the community and won school board approval—an amazing accomplishment at that time and location.

Back then, White students constituted a majority. Today, Blacks represent 54 percent of students in the district, which also has small percentages of Hispanic, Native Americans and Asian students. About half the students in Clinton come from low-income families, qualifying for free or reduced lunch, according to Hechinger.

Unlike other school districts across the nation in the 1970s, Clinton did not experience White flight when the courts ordered integration.

Belue told Hechinger Report that his plan put White middle-class parents in a position where they had a stake in the school system: “You avoid having schools with wealthy parents supplementing support for one school on one side of town, and none of that going on the other side of town.”

Part of what fueled White flight is that many upper-income White parents feared that integrating with poor Blacks would harm their children academically. That fear continues today.

But research shows that all students benefit from integration. An NPR report says integration does not harm the academic achievement of White students. At the same time, they get a broader worldview and develop greater “empathy and less prejudice” from associating with students of color and lower economic status.

Clinton’s schools have been “an academic powerhouse” across Mississippi, Hechinger reports. Even though poverty has increased in the school district, 85 percent of Clinton’s students graduated high school last year—surpassing the state and national average.

Clinton’s Black students are outperforming Blacks students across Mississippi. Almost 94 percent of them passed the state’s algebra exam during the 2012 – 2013 school year—that’s 15 percent higher than the state’s Black students outside Clinton.

Still, as Hechinger points out, Clinton’s successful integration has not closed the achievement gap. In 2009, 30 percent more White seventh-graders in Clinton scored proficient on English language arts exam than Black students. Four years later, the gap closed to 11 percent. But achievement gaps “remained stubborn” in other areas, such as science.

The Clinton model may not work in some school districts across the nation. But other efforts are underway, including one from President Obama.

Mr. Obama proposed a $120 million line in his 2017 budget for Stronger Together, which offers competitive grants to school districts seeking to create and implement socioeconomic integration plans.

SOURCE: The Hechinger Report , NPR | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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Police: Attack Of Black University Of Iowa Student Likely A Hate Crime

Marcus Owens’ family and friends said there could only be one motive for an attack that sent the 19-year-old University of Iowa freshman to the hospital. Investigators agree.

The Iowa City police said on Wednesday they are investigating the off-campus assault as a hate crime, the Chicago Tribune reports. Owens is recovering from the attack that occurred on Saturday night outside an Iowa City lounge. According to WLS-TV, the family said Owens needed stitches to his lip, had his front teeth knocked out, and sustained damage to his eye socket.

Owens’ uncle, Darrell Owens, told the Tribune that it was an unprovoked attack. Owens and his friends went out at the end of a week of writing term papers and final exams. He stepped outside to make a phone call when three men yelled racial slurs at his nephew before beating him up. “Thank God, a bystander yelled and ran up and scared them away, otherwise who knows what would have happened,” Darrell Owens told the Chicago Tribune.

He was escorted to his dorm before going to the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic, where doctors released him on Monday. Owens reported the incident to Iowa City police on Monday night.

According to WLS-TV, Owens told his family he believes at least one of the attackers is a University of Iowa student. “Based on information presented by the victim, this case is being investigated as a hate crime,” Iowa City police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said in a statement, the Tribune reports.

In the ongoing investigation, police said the suspects are three White men between the ages 19 and 22.

Darrell Owens said his nephew, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, is focused on getting a good education. “African-American kids are often portrayed as thugs with their pants hanging down. That is not this kid,” he told the Chicago Tribune.

Melvin Owens III, the victim’s older brother, told the newspaper he was surprised that someone would attack his brother, a business major at the university: “Marcus is one of the nicest kids. He’s really easygoing. People are attracted to that.”

University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld said he and the dean of students met with Owens and his family. The school released this statement, via the Chicago Tribune:

“We are saddened and outraged by the horrible event that transpired Saturday evening. This kind of violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated… Students have a right to feel safe on this campus.”

There was criticism that campus police officials sent Owens to the local police to report the crime. Harreld acknowledged, in the full statement, that the university’s protocol is “a failure.” He added that the university is working to make the crime reporting process more efficient.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune, WLS-TV, KCRG-TV9 | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Facebook


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Utah Teacher Punished For Using N-Word In Class

A Utah school district made it clear that it’s never OK for teachers to use the N-word in the classroom. That’s why officials at the Weber School District said they took administrative action against a White teacher, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Holly Frye told the Associated Press that her 14-year-old son sat through a class in which history teacher Douglas Barker spent an entire period in April saying the word, while defining its meaning and history.

What was the context? The South Ogden Junior High teacher used the racially offensive word before showing his eighth-grade students the Civil War movie, Glory. The film is about a Union Army company of Black soldiers during the Civil War.

Barker explained to the AP that he wanted his students to understand why they would hear the N-word in the film and stated to them that the offensive word is inappropriate.

“My intent has never been to offend, only to teach for understanding with historical context,” Barker told the AP.

But Frye, who is Black, told the news wire that nothing in the curriculum permits Barker to discuss the racially charged word.

“If he were at a KKK rally, I guess that would be OK, but he’s in a public school system,” she told the AP.

She said her son now feels unsafe at school.

A school district spokesman stated to the AP that Barker violated its policy, but offered no details about his punishment, citing privacy rights issues. The spokesman also noted that Barker displayed the Confederate flag in his classroom last year, but voluntarily removed it.

Frye said the district didn’t go far enough. She wants all administrators to take sensitivity training and Barker fired. The teacher needs to be taught the lesson, she told the AP.

SOURCE: Salt Lake Tribune, Associated Press | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty 


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Philadelphians Battle Over Proposed Soda Tax That May Fund Pre-K

Scores of Philadelphia residents crowded a City Council budget meeting Tuesday night to voice their position on a proposed soda tax, WPVI-TV reports.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has proposed a 3-cents-per-ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks. He expects it to raise $400 million over five years to fund universal pre-K and community schools, repair recreation centers and libraries, and purchase equipment for the city’s police and firefighters, according to WPVI-TV.

Battle lines were drawn. reported that the American Beverage Association and the local Teamsters union joined up to express their opposition. They distributed flyers in the parking lot and asked drivers to sign a petition.

On the other side, members of Philadelphians for a Fair Future rallied its forces at the meeting, many holding signs and also distributing flyers at the hearing.

According to NPR, the mayor said revenue from his proposed tax is the only way to pay for pre-K and other projects: “What we’re looking to do is to take some of that profit, to put it back into the neighborhoods that have been their biggest customers, to improve the lives and opportunities for the people who live there.”

Opponents argue that working-class families cannot afford to pay the higher prices. For that reason, everyone expects soda consumption to decrease.

The local Teamsters, which represents bottling plant workers and delivery drivers, is worried about job losses. Fear of a drop in soda sales is also keeping beverage industry executives awake at night. According to NPR, the American Beverage Association spent more than $9 million—in a failed effort—to block passage of a soda tax in Berkeley, Calif.

In 2014, Berkeley became the first—and only—city to successfully pass a soda tax, which set off a war between health advocates and the beverage industry. Berkeley’s goal was to reduce obesity and other health problems when it passed the 1-cent-per-ounce tax. In the first month, Berkeley raised $116,000 of revenue from the tax.

In Philadelphia, supporters of the tax acknowledge that the higher prices will hurt financially strapped families. But they urge residents to consider the long-term benefits.

The Rev. Adan Mairena told NPR that about 80 percent of his congregation in North Philly lives below the poverty line. “If we pass this, it’s going to provide more opportunities in the long run, and it’s going to make us a better people, a better community,” he said.

The City Council plans to hold another budget hearing before it votes on the issue in June.

SOURCE: WPVI-TV, Newsworks.orgNPR | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty 


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