Andrea Williams, an anchor with WTOK-TV Newscenter 11 in Meridian, will moderate a candidates' educational forum Thursday night.

The forum, open to all candidates for municipal office, will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Philadelphia High School auditorium.

The public is invited to the forum, sponsored by a group of parents in the process of applying for a Philadelphia Chapter of the national organization Parents for Public Schools.

The forum is a non-partisan, voter-education effort to make public education a priority issue for all voters and candidates in the upcoming election, said Joey Kilgore and Chiquita Moore Jones of the Philadelphia Public Schools Parent Group.

"We urge voters to make public education a priority concern in all elections and we urge candidates' active support for public education," they said. "Before we cast our ballots, we want to know candidates' views on public education and the actions they will take to improve public schools for all children. We will work with elected officials to create high-quality public education opportunities for all in our community."

Candidates will be provided with a list of potential questions that will be asked during the forum. Afterwards, they will have an opportunity to give a short campaign speech about any topic he or she feels is important.

No questions will be fielded from the audience during the forum, but candidates are invited to talk individually with those in attendance after the forum ends.

Among the proposed questions for candidates are:

How will the Mayor and Board of Aldermen help the city School Board obtain and retain the best teachers; how will you work to improve transparency between the school and the communities since they are dependent on each other; and what qualifications and traits will you look for in a board appointee.

The forum will give candidates an opportunity to express how they plan to support the school system if elected.

A group of parents and grandparents of students in the Philadelphia Public School District held a series of meetings recently to form a PPS chapter here. The non-partisan and non-profit organization promotes and strengthens the public schools by engaging, educating and mobilizing parents, organizers said.

For more information on the forum call Kilgore at 601-656-1881.