8 things parents should know about Philly schools

    With so many stories and rumors out there, we consolidated some of the issues on the table ahead of Friday’s funding deadline. Each of the eight items below links to a full story for more information.

     

     1. The school district budget shortfall (caused largely by the state’s budget cut) totals $304 million.

    2. Because of this shortfall, on July 1, the school district laid off 3,783 out of its 19,530 employees. Layoffs will affect schools across the district and include teachers, aides and support staff.

    3. The layoffs will not only have a lasting effect on our children and our schools, but they have a profound impact on the affected employees and their families.

    4. The school district is trying to recoup some of the funds to open the schools and reinstate some of those laid off. Superintendent William Hite has requested a $45 million grant from the state, but the chances of getting those funds in time is grim due to disagreements between state and city lawmakers.

    5. Since the timely prospect for additional state money is low, Hite is seeking $50 million from the city by Friday, Aug. 16. Hite claims this amount is necessary (but not sufficient) to open all the schools on time and at a minimally functional level.

    6. Hite is also asking the School Reform Commission to “suspend parts of the school code” and is hoping for $133 million in other labor concessions from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and other related unions.

    7. Appeals to parents for contributions to help patch the deficit in school budgets are increasing.

    8. Hite has stated that if funds are not received, the opening of schools in September might be staggered or delayed.

    What can you do? Public Citizens for Children and Youth is urging parents to let lawmakers know that our children deserve more and that we demand action.

     

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