By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today was the first stop on Mayor Nutter’s “listening tour” to hear firsthand how budget cuts have impacted students and teachers in the Philadelphia school district.
His visit to George Washington High School, on Bustleton Avenue in the Northeast, was the first of four around the district.
The mayor had a rousing exchange with students in the hallway, during which there was a run on “selfies.” Then he switched gears in the school library, where 18 students placed chairs in a circle. Each of them had an introspective moment to vent.
Jeremy Estes shared his experience about how the school’s only counselor, Adam Bachmann, inspired him to apply for a full scholarship at Drexel University.
“He just gave me brilliant ways to articulate my thoughts in that interview,” Estes recalls. And, he notes, he nailed it.
“That next week, I got the scholarship.”
Estes says there would be more stories like his if the number of counselors had not been reduced from six to one.
Mayor Nutter called the funding of education of students and their futures “an investment in the city.”
“It’s not that the schools need more money,” the mayor said. “The students need more resources and the teachers need more materials.”
The mayor plans to visit three more schools next month.