It was recently reported that Upper Darby is planning on cutting almost all arts and music programs from their elementary schools. Tina, who grew up in Upper Darby, offered her help as soon as she heard about this issue!
Fey forwarded a brief message via email asking recipients to check out a seven-minute YouTube video about the realignment proposal for the district’s elementary schools and middle schools.
In April, the administration unveiled its proposal to incorporate art, music, library and gym into the elementary classrooms and eliminate foreign language and technology in middle schools and reduce the teaching staff by 60-plus members at a budget savings of $4 million.
Parents, alumni, staff and students declared a war on the district, organized and presented a blitz of defense on why the programs should not be cut at two marathon school board meetings.
Fey’s email reaches out to persons of interest urging them to take a stand and sign the petition being circulated.
“Hi Friends, The link below is a video about how they are cutting almost all arts and music from the elementary schools in my home town. (Educational Realignment should be the new euphemism for crapping in your own bed.)
Other than to showcase some amazing Philly accents, I’m sending this to you in the off chance you know someone who can bring attention to this story. It’s emblematic of garbage that’s going on in a lot of states. This budget goes to vote next week, May 30, so it’s not only disgraceful, it’s time sensitive.
Sign the online petition? Tweet about it? Do a long monologue about it on a national television show? Y’ll know I don’t usually forward stuff like this, so thanks. Tina.”
Linda Reilly wrote in her article for the delcotimes.com
Maria Panaritis, who went to school with Tina and is now a columnist for the Inquirer, is bringing attention to this as well. She wrote:
Tina Fey was Frenchie, I was Rizzo. But the real star of our sold-out performances of Grease in high school was the Upper Darby School District — a place where kids like us from humble homes were taught not just English and algebra, but how to dream big, think big, and make big things happen.
Tina and I were compadres of the Class of ’88. And though we had the solos, the spotlight, and our names on the program, and we packed the house for four straight nights by hand-jiving and bebopping in theater makeup and thrift-store costumes, we were really just bit players in a K-12 public school system that had made it all possible. [...]
“How can I help?” Tina Fey offered when she heard I was working on a story. The now-famous writer and comedic actress was about to head into a movie shoot but would make time; this was important.
You can find the full article on philly.com
Many friends and colleagues of Tina including Tom Hanks, John Lutz, Tracie Thoms, Rosario Dawson and Mary Steenburgen have spread the word on Twitter since then. You can help too! Sign the petition below and forward the link to as many people as possible.