PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two more Philadelphia public schools will become “community schools,” with an infusion of extra services for students and their families. The expansion is smaller than was planned.
Community schools are one part of Mayor Jim Kenney’s anti-poverty program, designated for funding from the beverage tax. They launched last year with nine schools and Kenney had hoped to add five more this year.
“Unfortunately the ongoing, ad nauseum litigation against the Philadelphia beverage tax means we can’t expand at that rate right now. And this is very frustrating,” he said.
Kenney settled for two: Samuel Gompers Elementary and George Washington High School, where senior Sana Ahmadi says students are excited.
“We can’t wait to see the positive impact it will have on the student body,” said Ahmadi.
Though the smaller expansion is a disappointment, Council President Darrell Clarke says it’s still a step forward.
“To stand here today and be in a position to talk about the next round is a very exciting thing,” said Clarke.
The schools will decide which services they need most. Last year, schools provided food, clothing, job connections, counseling and adult education, among other things.