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Philadelphia School District Holds Meeting To Discuss Budget Shortfalls

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s less than three weeks before the Philadelphia School District has to adopt its budget — and parents and administrators are facing tough choices. School officials say a budget proposal by House Republicans would improve the budget picture a little — but it would still leave the district with a $610 million budget hole.

Another School Reform Commisison meeting Wednesday, another parade of community members pleading with school officials not to slash programs.

“Kids need art.”

“If you take away the students’ transportation and in some cases, only means to get to school, do you think the truancy issue will improve?”

On a day the School District proclaimed as “School Nurse Day,” there was plenty of talk about a deficit reduction plan that would that would trim the number of school nurses, along with art and music programs, student transpasses, and the list goes on.

But Superintendent Arlene Ackerman says the pain is being felt across the board as the district grapples with a $629 million deficit.

“I would like to hear people tell us what TO cut. Because I don’t think we’re ever going to get any agreement.”

The district has sought to reopen union contracts. The teachers union has refused, but SRC chair Robert Archie had the commission’s lawyer point out that state law gives the SRC the power to cancel and renegotiate contracts.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio

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  • fed up teacher!

    Let’s start with your salary, Mrs. Ackerman. Your pay is comparable to the president of the United States, but you’re willing to cut trasportation for students who need to get to school. Or what about you’re $65,000 bonus?

    Also, heads up to parents out there who’s children are going to kindergarten next year. I just got word that the tentative schedule for half day next year goes as follows and keep in mind, the times for your child will flip-flop mid-year:
    AM: 8:30-9 is breakfast, 9-11 is academics, however your child will be brought to a prep class (gym, etc.), 11:30-12:00 lunch. That leaves about an hour for academics.
    PM: 12:30-1:00 lunch, 1:00-3:00 academics. 2 hours of academics.
    These kids will be getting less academics than most child-care centers offer.. Thanks Govenor Corbett! I’m glad you’re increasing the budget for prisons because they’re going to need in!!!

    • Another fed up teacher and parent!!!

      I agree with you completely and don’t understand how they see all this as a solution when it will do more harm than any good. Secondly, what baffles me is Mrs. Ackerman and as you said her hefty check and bonus that she will continue to get while teachers lose their jobs or be forced out of a school they have serviced for many years due to school closings and other ridiculous reasons. If no one has noticed the longer she( Ackerman) is here the worse it gets and I don’t know about the rest of Philadelphia, but people really need to read because this has all happened before in Chicago and now we have the opportunity to deal with the same destruction…please look it up Ackerman and the Chicago school district.

  • Kathelleen Parsons

    BTW, why make the children pay for an adult mistake that they cannot keep great book keeping. You are only making yourselves look bad by punishing the children. Need to look deeper before punishing the children for adults mistakes.

  • Kathelleen Parsons

    how about removing the middle school completely. this is cut some cost with teachers and cut down on development issues of children who cannot cope with the every changing of teachers. It is stated and know that the child’s brain is not ready for those types of changes. Ever think about how the Catholic schools manage. They do not have a middle school. And they do not get much from Government fundings.

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