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Amid Phila. School Budget Woes, World Affairs Council Severs From Bodine H.S.

(Bondine High School, in 2006 file photo.)

(Bondine High School, in 2006 file photo.)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Budget problems are chipping away at one of Philadelphia’s best public high schools, reducing the course offerings and staffing that have made it stand out.

The school district’s international magnet school, Bodine High School for International Affairs, is named for the World Affairs Council chairman who helped start it in 1981.  And its relationship with the World Affairs Council is a large part of what made the school one of the most sought-after placements in the district.

But budget problems that have been eroding its foreign language classes have now claimed the staff member and special activities the WAC had been providing.

“We just are heartbroken about the idea that these students won’t continue to have those opportunities,” notes World Affairs Council CEO Craig Snyder.

He says the council has been donating its services since September — something he says will put its 2013 budget in the red — but he says the district told him last week it would not be able to pay the council at all this year.  So, the World Affairs Council says it has no choice but to suspend services.

“I’m sure they’re still going to do great work and get the best experience they can, but they’re also going to lose a lot of the enrichment of that experience that really has made it special,” Snyder tells KYW Newsradio.

Snyder says he’s hopeful the World Affairs Council can return to Bodine High School next year.

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