North Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill pledged to donate $10,000 to his alma mater Strawberry Mansion High School, according to a report on Philly.com. Along with the $10,000 donation, he is using his new endorsement through Puma to set up the Strawberry Mansion Knight’s basketball team with new shoes.
These efforts from Meek (offstage name: Robert Williams), who is prohibited from touring for the next 30 days because of his 2008 legal troubles, come as Strawberry Mansion High School is one of the eight schools proposed for closure in concordance with Superintendent Hite’s initiative to consolidate Philadelphia public schools. From Philly.com:
Calling it “a historic moment,” Hite said his recommendations also included changing the grade levels of 23 schools and making other program changes affecting another seven. The total savings for the district could be up to $28 million beginning in 2014-15, he said. The proposed changes will be presented to the School Reform Commission Dec. 20 and, if approved, would affect 17,000 district students, 45 principals and 1,168 teachers. The number of schools would drop from 237 to 199; one in six schools would be closed.
Some community members, including Mill, believes that this consolidation will hurt the public school system. Many believe that forcing students from rival neighborhoods to converge onto the same campus will cause an increase in violence. With all these safety concerns, as well as regards over-crowding, the Hite administration has been assuring Philadelphia residents that a portion of the money being saved will be allocated to address these concerns so that the safety of the children remains a top priority.