Press Release

Students Fight for Right To Vote on School Board

Student Advocates Pushing for Change in State and Local Policy


Philadelphia, PA -- UrbEd, a student organization in partnership with Philly Black Students Alliance, calls for all Student Representatives on the Board of Education to have the right to vote on policy affecting students. UrbEd demand local and state officials to increase the Student Representatives' roles and abilities on the School District of Philadelphia’s Board of Education.

“As a former Student Representative, I noticed the majority of the tasks/action items are targeting us as students. It made me question why we couldn’t vote on them even though they are for us. This is why it’s important to change that for the next student representatives,” said Doha Ibrahim, former student board representative & UrbEd’s campaign advisor.

Students are denied a real voice in the decision-making process across Philadelphia despite being the most impacted stakeholders. This reveals a fundamental issue with the city’s approach to addressing student needs and voice; this must not continue.

"Our young people are directly impacted by the decisions that the Board of Education makes, so it is only logical that they are given a voice in those decisions. This issue is not just about fair representation—it's also about encouraging our young people to be civically engaged today so that they are empowered to become tomorrow's leaders. Philly students have repeatedly demonstrated that when given the opportunity, they rise to meet the occasion. I believe that by giving real power to the student voices on the Board of Education, the Board's decisions will better reflect what Philly students, teachers, and families need and deserve," said Council-member Kendra Brooks

UrbEd has released demands to ensure Philadelphia schools are more democratic through greater student input. We call for:

  • Voting Student Representatives
  • Establishment of a student representative advisory committee
  • Restructure the onboarding process of student representatives

“It is crucial that students be given the POWER to help decide the fate of their own education. We demand strong influence on the school board which is supposed to serve us,” said Sheyla Street, member of The Philly Black Students Alliance

“Our plan seeks to address core structural issues in the student representative’s roles from securing students input, voting rights, students having access to board operations and a thorough onboarding,” said Luke Risher UrbEd’s advocacy & organizing director.

Through the demands, we hope to recognize our student population's sovereignty and begin directly drawing on the talents and skills of the many brilliant, capable youth raised here in the City of Philadelphia.

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