April 21, 2017 by Editorial Board
According to philly.com, Central High School teacher George Bezanis is raising money for a plane to fly a banner over the NFL draft, and it won’t be about the Eagles — it’ll be about how it’s been more than three years since Philadelphia teachers have received a new contract.
Around 200,000 people are expected to attend the draft, philly.com reports. Bezanis, as of April 20, has raised $985 in hopes of taking advantage of the temporary national attention to emphasize the teachers’ predicament in not having a contract, which has prevented them from getting a raise for the last five years.
Some of the messages that donors can vote on for the featured message are, “JOCKS GET PAID TEACHERS GET STRAPPED PFT.ORG” and “CITY HALL <3 SPORTS BUT HATES OUR TEACHERS.” Both take jabs directly at Philadelphia playing host to the draft.
To be fair, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers union and the school district have been deliberating on a contract for years. And, while NewsWorks reports that the city of Philadelphia will be spending up to $500,000 on the event, an agreement for the teachers would likely require upwards of $100 million.
But the juxtaposition is worth considering. If 200,000 people were as impassioned about the teachers’ salary freeze as they were about the NFL draft, would more progress be made to help the teachers who haven’t seen a raise in pay in nearly half a decade? And even if Bezanis succeeds in commissioning a banner plane, will anyone bother to look up?
According to NewsWorks, city officials are anticipating $86 million in city-wide revenue from the draft, which will take place April 27-29. Meanwhile, Philadelphia educators have no choice but to wait for a contract that always seems to be just out of reach.
For those interested, Bezanis’ crowdfunding site for the banner plane can be found at https://www.chuffed.org/project/support-teachers-nfl-draft.