Reporting Mike DeNardo
By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – While teachers and activists marched, Philadelphia parents Thursday night took their concerns over the budget crisis to the School Reform Commission.
“Save our schools!” the crowd chanted.
More than 1,000 teachers and activists marched from the Comcast Center to City Hall to school headquarters, demanding funding to fill the district’s budget hole. One result of the financial crisis is the return of split grades — having one teacher teach two grades in a single classroom. Parent Robin Dominick told the SRC her second-grade daughter would likely be in a split class.
“Can you tell her what to do if a third grader picks on her? Or bullies her? There’s no one to go to. No counselor, no aides, no teaching assistants,” said Dominick.
Superintendent William Hite says it’s not clear how many split classes there will be.
“We identify by principals who are making their rosters work with what they have. And it’s an understanding that when you eliminate over 4,000 people, certain things aren’t going to be in place,” said Hite.
Hite says 1,600 of the 4,000 laid-off workers are being hired back.