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Philadelphia Teachers, School Officials At Odds Over How To Close Budget Gap

(Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia schoolteachers are trying to keep the pressure on the city and state to solve the school district’s budget crisis.

This morning, teachers throughout the city — including one group outside the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Broad and Christian Streets — staged informational picketing, calling for funding to pull Philadelphia schools out of their $300-million budget hole.

Superintendent William Hite’s budget relies on labor concessions — including teacher pay cuts from 5 to 13 percent, and an end to teacher seniority.

But teachers’ union president Jerry Jordan says no to that:

“I don’t think that you’ll find any employee in the school district in the PFT (Philadelphia Federation of Teachers) — and you have some here –  who are going to tell you that they are willing or that they can afford to take that kind of a pay cut.”

Veteran CAPA dance instructor LaDeva Davis says she understands Hite’s financial crunch but thinks teachers have given enough.

“I do sympathize and empathize with his position.  But on the other hand, there’s got to be a way to fix it all.”

The current teacher contract runs out at the end of August, but the school district has to adopt a balanced budget by the end of May.