News in Brief

Philadelphia Schools to Open on Time with Cuts to Programs

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Philadelphia's schools will open Sept. 8, but the district will cut cleaning, repairs, and professional development for some teachers as a result of cost-cutting measures that officials hope will be temporary.

Superintendent William Hite said at a press conference this month that no mass layoffs will take place at this time to close a remaining budget deficit of around $81 million, in the $2.6 billion spending plan. There had been a possibility that more than 1,000 employees could lose their jobs. But he said the district will revisit the issue in mid-October.

The decision was made to open schools after the 131,000-student district received assurances from Gov. Tom Corbett and House Majority Leader Michael Coyne Turzai, both Republicans, that a $2-per-pack cigarette tax would be among the first items legislators will tackle when they return to Harrisburg after the summer recess, Mr. Hite said.

The district had pinned its hopes on using revenue from the tax to plug the budget hole, but lawmakers left for the summer without agreeing on the deal.

In addition to pleading for more state aid to end the district's structural deficit, Mr. Hite and William Green, the chairman of the School Reform Commission, asked the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to make deeper concessions in wages and benefits.

If the teachers' union does not make those concessions, Mr. Green said the commission, which runs the district, may impose those cuts.

Mr. Hite and Mr. Green noted that obtaining the $81 million will only return the district to a level of services that both leaders deem inadequate and insufficient to fully educate the city's children.

Vol. 34, Issue 02

Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >