School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite will announce school closings Thursday afternoon as part of the district’s Facilities Master Plan.
Hite will “will outline the actions that the School District of Philadelphia must take in order to place public schools on the road to a higher-performing school system that improves academic outcomes for all students and is financially sustainable,” according to the district.
The district began holding meetings earlier this fall to discuss the reorganization plan after Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen told parents that closing up to 57 schools over the next few years could save $30 to $35 million. Parents United for Public Education says neighborhood schools have been left to close the district’s financial hole while charter expansion continues.
“We do not have confidence in the process and metrics by which schools have been chosen,” the group said Wednesday. “The process has revealed flawed data, questionable assessments of academic excellence and ignored the effects of inadequate resources on neighborhood schools. The school district has failed to indicate an investment in public education to assure families that our children will not end up in schools weakened by disinvestment or in worse shape than the schools they left.”
Thursday’s announcement is supposed to also highlight safety improvement efforts and ways to expand educational programs. The Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools will hod a rally at 4:30 p.m. outside district headquarters on North Broad Street and will later release its own plan for improving public schools.