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Amid Budget Crisis, Phila. School District Holds Back-To-School Fest

By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Even as Philadelphia school officials warn they may not have enough money to open schools next month (see related story), the School District of Philadelphia was hosting a back-to-school festival today in West Philadelphia.

Thousands of parents and students were at the School of the Future, on Parkside Avenue, for what the district calls a “family and education reunion.”

Evelyn Sample-Oates, the district’s chief of family and community engagement, says dozens of companies and organizations, including health care and Internet service providers, were set up under tents.

“This is an opportunity for parents to come out and ask questions, or get information to prepare their kids to get ready to go back to school,” she said today.

Still, the question of when schools will open is on the minds of many.

“If they can’t open on time, I have to look for what I can put him in until they open,” said parent Tamara Lewis from Wynnefield.  “If I have to pay for him to go to a school, I have to pay.”

Most parents think city and school officials will find a way to open on September 9th.

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