Hite Talks Contract Issues Over Teacher Pay And Water Fountains In Philadelphia Public Schools
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By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia’s schools chief wants to clear up some misconceptions teachers may have, after the district’s opening contract proposal to the teachers union leaked out this week.
Teachers were outraged over the district’s desire to have them work a longer day for less money. But provisions like eliminating drinking fountains and the requirement to have a sufficient number of textbooks? Superintendent William Hite says that’s about streamlining cumbersome contract language, not about cutting books and water.
“This doesn’t mean we’re going to run into schools and dismantle water fountains and take doors off of offices. Those are things that we should be providing if we want to attract and maintain the type of people that we want in front of our students.”
Hite says he wants a contract that treats teachers as professionals (see related story). But he says the district’s economic crisis requires concessions from all of its unions, teachers included.