Union, school district clash over warehoused textbooks

The union representing Philadelphia public school teachers is calling on its members to help go through piles of discarded books and distribute them to classrooms where they are needed.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday that thousands of textbooks were stored in the district’s basement headquarters and at a now-closed technical school in south Philadelphia along with some musical instruments.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers said teachers spend “thousands of dollars” to provide instructional materials for students and it is “incomprehensible” to have so many warehoused books.

But the head of the state-run panel that oversees the district said many of the texts appear to be outdated. And a district spokesman said an earlier offer to let teachers and principals pick up what they needed went largely unheeded.

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