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Home Front: Politix
Philadelphia School District Plans to Close Dozens of Schools
2013-01-01
[NY Times] Like many public schools here, University City High School is underused, underfinanced and underperforming.
In other words, physical consolidation is overdue. Rightsizing, as they call it nowadays in the private sector.
Nearly 80 percent of its 11th-grade students read below grade level in statewide tests this year, while 85 percent failed to make the grade in math. Last year, about only a quarter of its students participated in precollege testing like the SAT.

Largely because of the lure of local charter schools, the school is one-quarter full, with fewer than 600 students for its nearly 2,200 seats. It needs major work on its infrastructure, including lighting and heating systems, that would cost an estimated $30 million.

Now, facing deep financial problems, the Philadelphia School District has proposed an unprecedented downsizing that would close 37 campuses by June -- roughly one out of six public schools, including University City. If the sweeping plan is approved, the district says it will improve academic standards by diverting money used for maintaining crumbling buildings to hire teachers and improve classroom equipment.

The 237-school district faces a cumulative budget deficit of $1.1 billion over the next five years, after $419 million in state cuts to educational financing this year. The district's problems are compounded by the end of federal stimulus money and rising pension costs.
Posted by:Fred

#5  "we need to squeeeeze them taxpayers some more"
Posted by: Frank G   2013-01-01 14:40  

#4  And the backlash has started:

A coalition of community groups that includes the city's teachers union is calling for a temporary halt to the Philadelphia School District's plans to close 37 schools. District officials say they welcome the group's input, but that it's too late to stop the closures.

"If we restored the 2008 funding formula, we would not be in this deficit," said Andi Perez, head of Students United for Change and part of PCAPS. "If we closed tax loopholes. If we collected more property taxes
[Philadelphia already has 96,000-plus tax delinquent property owners], the citizens who actually pay their taxes will have to shell out even more. already as . There's series of things that the city and state could do to increase revenue for Philadelphia public schools, and for public schools around the state."

Members of the PCAPS coalition include: Youth United For Change, Philadelphia Student Union, ACTION United, Philadelphia Federation Of Teachers, Philadelphia Home And School Council, UNITE HERE, SEIU 32BJ, Fight For Philly, Philadelphians Allied For a Responsible Economy, American Federation Of Teachers PA, Jobs With Justice, Teacher Action Group, Coalition Of Labor Union Women, Occupy Philadelphia Labor Work Group, Decarcerate PA, Association of Philadelphia School Librarians.
Posted by: Pappy   2013-01-01 14:08  

#3  Largely because of the lure of local charter schools...

Translation: no one wants to send their kids to sucky schools.
Posted by: SteveS   2013-01-01 11:34  

#2   I didn't want to read the source article since I might exceed my quota of NYT articles. I would bet the source does not mention the average $ spent/ student 'educated' in the Philly school district. In general, a vast amount of funds are paid per primary & high school student, with poor and ever diminishing returns.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418   2013-01-01 10:17  

#1  Why not? They don't teach in them anyway.
Posted by: Glenmore   2013-01-01 08:47  

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