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Nutter Says He Won’t Back a Delay in Philadelphia School Closure Plan

(Proponents of a moratorium for school closures listen as Quanisha Smith of Action United speaks outside City Hall.  Credit: John Ostapkovich)

(Proponents of a moratorium for school closures listen as Quanisha Smith of Action United speaks outside City Hall. Credit: John Ostapkovich)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A coalition of groups is asking Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter to pressure the School Reform Commission to put a one-year moratorium on the plan to close dozens of schools.

The call came from, among others, city councilwoman Jannie Blackwell (fourth from left in photo).

“There should not be a vote to close schools this week,” she said today.

Added Jerry Jordan, head of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (far left in photo, partially obscured): “This plan should not advance.  It should stop Thursday night!”

Jerome Mondesire, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP (fifth from left, wearing western hat), called the school closing plan a headlong rush not based on reality, and he promises unspecified resistance.

“We know how to get people’s attention, and we’ll hold onto it,” Mondesire said.  “We just want to make sure that the public knows that this is a broad struggle with clergy, with unions, neighborhood groups, and we’re fighting for the children of Philadelphia.”

A spokesman for the mayor says the school administration has already revised its plan and the mayor cannot support a moratorium.