Jun 112013
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Mayor says quality of education will plummet, but superintendent says school district must live within its means.

from World Socialist Web Site

"On Friday, the superintendent of the Philadelphia School District (SDP), William Hite, Jr., announced plans to lay off nearly 4,000 educators in the coming months. The destruction of teachers’ jobs comes as part of a 'doomsday' austerity budget in the public school system that was passed several weeks ago by the School Reform Commission (SRC), which is appointed dually by the state and the city to oversee its public schools.

"The budget, passed in May, would see 3,783 educators and staff laid off in the District in the coming months. The budget itself contains a $304 million deficit, part of a continuing $1.1 billion debt the school district is facing. Without the needed funds, schools would be required to go without many essentials, including staff, textbooks, and even notebook paper in some cases. Among the cuts to school staff will be an estimated 300 secretaries, 283 guidance counselors, 769 support service assistants, 676 teachers, and more than 1,200 noon-time aides. (see 'School district of Philadelphia passes ‘doomsday’ austerity budget').

"Speaking on the budget as a whole, Democratic city mayor Michael Nutter stated that the 'quality of education in Philadelphia will plummet and we will all suffer as a result: poverty, unemployment, crime, lost wages and lack of personal opportunity.' For his part, Hite added that he was 'profoundly upset about having to take these actions' but ultimately, the 'School District of Philadelphia must live within its means.' …"

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