Philly teacher focused more on students than contract: ‘We just want to teach’

    Philadelphia public schools open today with still no new teachers contract and the system’s financial crisis very much unresolved. The district is seeking $100 million in concessions from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and state officials say they won’t provide a promised $45 million to the district without a money-saving teachers contract.

    Sheila Williams, a second grade teacher at the Tanner Duckrey school in North Philadelphia, is welcoming students from two other schools that closed to save money. Willilams says she’s more focused on her new kids than the union contract or funding crisis.

    “We just want to teach,” she said. “We just want to be here with the children and hopefully the guys, the suits, will get it together and it’ll work out okay.”

    Negotiators for the teachers union and district met over the weekend. Those talks continue this week.

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