Dozens more Philly schools lose school police due to budget cuts

 (Emma Lee/WHYY)

(Emma Lee/WHYY)

In a move that leaders hope will be temporary, the Philadelphia School District will not fill its staffing vacancies for school police officers, causing a few dozen additional schools to share an officer when classes begin on September 8.

This inaction amounts to a 10 percent cut in school police workforce — saving the district $2.4 million.

The 26 elementary and middle schools affected will only have an officer in the building for half of the week.

Two of the schools on the list, Blaine and W.D. Kelley, have undergone vast staffing changes through an “internal turnaround” process.

Another, Steel Elementary, opens in September after a highly unusual spring. The district asked families to consider turning the school into a charter through the Renaissance process and then held a vote for parents to show their opinions.  Parents ultimately voted to keep the school under district control.

The high schools on this list currently have more than one officer each. One of those officers will split time with a nearby elementary school, ensuring that there’s at least one officer in each high school at all times.

In total, 56 schools will share an officer. Of these, 45 will be devoid of police presence for half of each school week.

Superintendent William Hite maintains that schools will be safe despite the service reductions.

“We’re going to work with the city as we did last year to ensure that we’re focusing on safe corridors and making sure that the climate and culture stuff is a big part of what we’re doing everyday,” Hite said.

Affected schools 2014-15:

Elementary schools (25):

SharswoodAdaireDunbarMeadeElkinHunterPotter-ThomasHenryHoustonJ.S. JenksLinglebachPennellPennypackerShawmontJohn MarshallEthan AllenLoescheSteelCayugaCrampBethuneBlaineLowellDickW. D. Kelley

Middle Schools (1):

Conwell

High schools (8):

Girard Academy Music ProgramParkway NorthwestPhiladelphia Military AcademyBodineHill-Freeman World AcademyArts Academy at RushLankenauKensington Health & Sciences

Last year, 28 schools shared an officer. Of those 22 will continue splitting services. Six will now have an officer staffed full-time (A.S. Jenks, Childs, Sheridan, Hackett, E.M. Stanton, Webster).

Continuing to share:

Elementary Schools (17)

BregyJacksonKirkbrideMeredithSouthwarkAndersonHarringtonBache-MartinH. A. BrownA.B. DayMcCloskeyThurgood MarshallMorrisonSullivanZieglerFrankDecatur

Middle Schools (2)

Middle Years AcademyLaBrum

High schools (3)

MastermanParkway WestSwenson Arts & Technology

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