By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia school officials are getting ready to publicly identify the dozens of schools targeted for permanent closure next fall.
Superintendent William Hite says he’ll be ready to announce late next week which of about 40 school buildings are on the list to close for good. He knows it’s not going to be easy potentially closing one out of every six public schools.
“Even in the best cases, in the best circumstances, school closures are difficult,” he says. “And those recommendations are very difficult. They generate a lot of emotion, anxiety, fear.”
The School Reform Commission has said it could save $33-million a year by closing underutilized schools, but Hite says the focus shouldn’t necessarily be on the schools closing, but rather, what’s being done for the ones that remain.
“We’re going to come back and really talk about how we can communicate what all schools should look like moving forward,” he says. “So that school closure is not the target, it is having a better school system that supports all students that is left as what we should all be working toward.”
Public hearings will precede any final decisions, but the SRC has approved a sidestep of state rules, to speed up the process.