Hearing yesterday on possible closure of William Penn High School

    Parents, alumni and politicians who don’t want the school district to close William Penn High School in north Philadelphia attended a hearing yesterday, where school District officials said a drop-off in enrollment and a crumbling building may force them to close the school.

    Parents, alumni and politicians who don’t want the school district to close William Penn High School in north Philadelphia attended a hearing yesterday, where school District officials said a drop-off in enrollment and a crumbling building may force them to close the school. WHYY’s Susan Phillips reports.

    Transcript:
    The high school at Broad and Master streets has room for about 2500 students. But only 641 now attend. District officials say the building, built back in 1970, is poorly designed and drains money from the district.

    But Sylvia Simms, whose nephew was recently killed, says moving kids to other schools could put them in danger.

    Simms:  “Sometimes these students cannot go two blocks away from where they live at. Some of these students, if you close the school down they goin’ to drop out because they will not go to school because they can’t.”

    Several residents expressed concern about what would be done with the empty school building to make sure it didn’t create blight in the neighborhood. Public hearings will be held on the issue before the School Reform Commission makes its decision in June.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090312school.mp3]

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