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POWER throws mock funeral for Philly schools

Demonstrators say the move signifies the death of the future for public school students

LUGGING A coffin down the middle of Broad Street isn't something you see every day, but it happened Friday afternoon in a dramatic demonstration heralding the death of Philly's public schools.

Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild (POWER) organized a mock funeral procession that started in the courtyard at City Hall and made its way to Gov. Corbett's office at the Bellevue Hotel, on Broad Street near Locust.

Chanting, "No education-No Life!" about 100 interfaith leaders, students, parents and teachers joined in the march along Broad Street to signify the death of young people's futures if more funding is not provided to the school district.

"I think what's even more depressing is that next year, these kids will go to school and have nothing," said Bishop Dwayne Royster, POWER executive director.

"This gives our young people the chance to have a say about the kind of education they want and deserve . . . The coffin is empty, which is what our children's future looks like right now."

Many groups like POWER and the Philadelphia Student Union continue to pressure City Council and the governor to allocate more funding for education. Amid a budget crisis, school district officials say they are facing a $216 million shortfall that could result in more than 1,000 layoffs.