Lower Merion students call for fair school funding for city neighbors | Mainlinetimes

Hundreds of students and community members turned out on a late summer Sunday to call for a change to the funding disparities between public school students in Lower Merion and those across City Avenue in Philadelphia.

The event was organized by four Lower Merion High School rising seniors; Kisara Freeman,Caitlin McGinty, Megan Craig and Michaela Craig.

“We the students of the Lower Merion School District are committed to establishing an ongoing and mutually beneficial relationship with fellow students across City Line. We understand that the oppressive conditions under which they must pursue their education are in direct contrast to the superior and safe environment provided to us. We also understand that these disparities are deliberately enforced by a socio-political system that is designed to prevent us from standing in solidarity together against the widespread injustices that are endemic to our communities, our city, and our country,” read the group’s manifesto.

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Students protest education inequity in march from Lower Merion to Philly’s Overbrook High School

Less than four miles separate Lower Merion High School in Ardmore from Overbrook High School in West Philadelphia, but the two schools and their communities are worlds apart.



a car driving on a city street filled with lots of traffic: Protesters make their way along City Avenue as part of a rally and march to highlight inequities in suburban and city public schools.


© MONICA HERNDON/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS
Protesters make their way along City Avenue as part of a rally and march to highlight inequities in suburban and city public schools.

Lower Merion’s average annual household income is more than $131,000 a year. In the neighborhood surrounding Overbrook High, that figure doesn’t quite reach $35,000, census figures show.

During a recent school year, Lower Merion spent $26,422 per student — at least $12,000 more per student than the Philadelphia School District could muster.

Philly public schools will stay all-online at least until NovemberThat contrast has existed for a long time, but for Kisara Freeman, and three other rising seniors at Lower Merion High this summer of protests and widespread social and economic upheaval has become

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