an education that engages students with culture & community

FACTS Teachers and Staff Form Union

On December 12, 2022 teachers and staff of the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School voted to form a union. FACTS employees voted to be represented in collective bargaining by the Alliance of Charter School Employees of the American Federation of Teachers-PA. Below is a message to the staff from Principal Pheng, Teacher Ellen, and Selina Morales, our Board Chair, offering our congratulations.

Dear FACTS Community,

Every year, on or near March 9, our school community celebrates the day when FACTS was founded. During the assembly, we retell the heroic story of the founding of our school. Using cardboard props and a script full of our mythology, teachers act out the dreaming up of our school and the mobilization of our communities who, in 2005, marched into the Philadelphia School Reform Commission hearing, and (in a moment the kids love to recount) the Commissioners raised their hands and all said yes, yes, yes, the school could open! We all yell, “Hurray, Hurray for Founders Day!”

FACTS was envisioned and founded by community activists who saw arts and culture as important world-building tools. Our beloved Founder’s Day Play is a future-looking tool, a chance to foster inclusion in the foundational narrative of our school and to ask students, teachers, and staff: How will you steward these dreams?

There are many ways that each of us rise to this question, through small daily interactions, through curriculum design, through policies or through professional development planning and so much more. To believe in our FACTS mission and to work together to build something bigger, better, and brighter is a ritual in our school.

Today is a historic day for FACTS. The school has taken a step into our future with the formation of the FACTS Teachers Union! We are proud to move forward into a new beginning; proud to – together-  be founders of FACTS’ future.

We offer sincere and enthusiastic congratulations to FACTS teachers for taking this step. Together we will work to build a fair and peaceful world.


Ellen Somekawa, Executive Director

Pheng Lim, Principal

Selina Morales, Chair, FACTS Board of Trustees