PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– A new announcement from the Philadelphia School District comes as a victory for elementary education in the city.
“People are tweeting and emailing and we were like, really really is it true is it true?”
The restoration of full day Kindergarden in Philadelphia this fall comes as a huge relief to parents like Cindy Clark who hadn’t yet made alternative plans for her son entering the Meredith Elementary School.
“I’m ectastic. He’s gonna be excited, he wants to go to kindergarten, he asks me am I gonna go to kindergarden? So now I can tell him he’s gonna go and he’s gonna go all day,” said Clark.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Arlene Ackerman says they just got Title I funding for kinderganden and it came just in time.
“Monday was really the important date because layoff notices are going out and principals are making finals revisions to their school budgets,” Ackerman said.
Clark says she knows folks who considered fleeing to the suburbs based on the budget cuts — no need to put the house up for sale now:
“There are a lot of people who made a concious choice to put their children into good, public schools. When they heard that it might be half day they questioned their choices, but they rallied!”
Mayor Nutter says he’s happy that the school district found the money for full day kindergarten, but there’s still alot more work to be done. The Mayor says the current school district budget still does not have the funding for a number of key school programs.
“Bus transportation, lower class size and certainly accelerated schools are some of the leaders on that list.”
On top of the lack of funding in certain areas, Mayor Nutter says, millions of dollars that have been included in the school district’s budget could be uncertain.
“The school district has built into their budget an anticipated $57 million in revenue from charter school reimbusements. Those dollars at the moment are not guaranteed.”
Nutter says the city plans to work more closely with the school district to figure out the priorities for funding.
Reported by Hadas Kuznits; Cherri Gregg, KYW Newsradio