By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Public school advocates are already asking for changes in the action plan unveiled today by Philadelphia schools superintendent William Hite. KYW’s Pat Loeb reports they want a moratorium on the school closings Hite as proposed.

Teachers’ union president Jerry Jordan and other members of the group PCAPS – Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools – were not completely negative about the superintendent’s plan.

“The teachers applaud Dr. Hite’s plan, however we do have some disagreements with it.”

Jordan says the group agrees with many of Hite’s academic improvement goals but thinks closing 37 schools is the wrong way to address the district’s financial problems. Parent Anne Gemmell says the closings wouldn’t even realize the negligible savings Hite calculates.

“Twenty-eight million dollars is the stated savings. That’s less than one percent of the current budget and a lot of things such as additional transportation costs and security measures aren’t taken into account.”

The group says a moratorium on new charter schools could save $300 million and better tax collection could increase revenue by $500 million.

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