(PHILADELPHIA) – Today, Teamsters Local 502/Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA) leaders and members took part in a virtual action meeting for the School District of Philadelphia Board of Education to call for a public vote of “no confidence” in Superintendent William Hite.
The union’s call for a public vote of no confidence follows a petition circulated by the union throughout the community, citing a “failure of leadership” by Dr. Hite to keep students safe, as well as fiscal irresponsibility, health and safety issues, and overall incompetence and negligence during his tenure as superintendent. As of this afternoon, more than 2,100 signatures have been collected to demand accountability of Dr. Hite.
A recently released report by the district’s inspector general detailed “critical missteps” at the School District of Philadelphia, highlighting serious mismanagement of environmental hazards in Philadelphia schools that demonstrate a blatant disregard for the health and safety of students.
“This is not and has never been about administrators returning to school buildings and facilities; we have been working more than ever throughout this pandemic. This is about the safety and health of students and school workers. This is about holding Dr. Hite accountable for his cabinet’s incompetence. We need leaders who will look out for our students and staff, and resolve problems responsibly—proactively rather than reactively,” said Dr. Robin Cooper, President of Local 502/CASA.
An independent survey of members conducted by Teamsters Local 502/CASA concluded that 90.7 percent of CASA administrators responded that they do not feel respected by central office administration, and 87.1 percent of CASA administrators responded that they believe school based administrators should have the autonomy to enter their buildings when necessary to perform tasks required to monitor and manage operations and instruction.
Additionally, in a separate survey to determine school preparedness to receive school administrators in their buildings beginning September 14, it was determined that:
- 90 schools have received NO personal protective equipment (PPE);
- 83 schools lack proper ventilation; and
- 14 schools are experiencing extremely little or no ventilation at all.
“It is time for forward-thinking, practical solutions to the collective, growing concerns throughout this school district. We are asking our public stakeholders to hold Dr. Hite accountable. This is not an administrators’ issue, or even so much a union issue, as it is a community issue. Our children have been at risk long before COVID-19 due to the negligence of district leadership,” Cooper said.
Teamsters Local 502/CASA represents nearly 700 school administrators who work in the School District of Philadelphia as principals, assistant principals, facilities area coordinators, climate managers and school police, food service supervisors, early childhood supervisors, lead academic coaches, school trainers and curriculum specialists.