Guests: Tom Ferrick and Kate Shaw
“A building with teachers and principals, but no other supports? That’s not a picture of a school to me.” That’s how Philadelphia school superintendent William Hite described the dire funding situation facing the City’s schools this September. With a $304 million budget shortfall, there may be no assistant principals, 646 fewer classroom teachers, support staff, and almost no school nurses or counselors. Also on the chopping block are athletic programs, new textbooks, arts and music programs and librarians. The District is calling on the city, the state and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to share the burden but so far little progress has been made. And while the crisis is extreme in Philadelphia, school districts around the state are also facing similar funding challenges. In this hour of Radio Times we’ll talk about the consequences for Philadelphia’s school children, educators and the city-at-large, what it will take to remedy the crisis and who is responsible for fixing it. Our guests are long-time reporter and Axis Philly contributor TOM FERRICK and education policy researcher KATE SHAW from Research for Action.