Philly after-school programs will continue, thanks to compromise

An agreement has been struck to keep after-school programs in Philadelphia schools for another year.

More than 16,000 children ages 5 to 18 participate in after-school programs run by the recreation department in Philadelphia public schools. Mayor Michael Nutter says a compromise has been worked out to keep the programs going this winter.

“This year the city will pay $338,000 for the use of school district facilities, which is almost half of what it would have been for the entire 2011-2012 season if we hadn’t made certain changes to schedules and consolidated some programs,” Nutter said.

Those changes include having 80 schools close an hour earlier and moving programs to 25 bigger schools with multiple gyms that will stay open later. Larger facilities will have eight-hour programs on Saturdays.

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School District Superintendent William Hite says it’s a great compromise.

“In these tough economic financial times, we are faced with tough economic choices,” Hite said. “I commend our city leaders on behalf of the school district of Philadelphia for standing with us to do what is best for our children.”

The extended hours begin Nov. 5.

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