School District of Philadelphia
With the governor and the School Reform Commission calling on teachers to make concessions, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ president Jerry Jordan was hearing directly from members about their working conditions.
In Announcing Classes Would Begin On Time, Phila. School Officials Repeat Their Call For Concessions From Teachers Union
Cigarette tax money, if it comes, would fill about half of the budget hole. The district is still pushing its teachers union for concessions. Superintendent William Hite says the district is no longer seeking across the board wage cuts.
Pennsylvania schools will have to make room for almost 400 undocumented children this fall. In Delaware more than 100 and in new Jersey, more than 1,500. In all, that’s enough to fill nearly 70 classrooms.
Schools superintendent William Hite, standing next to the governor for the announcement, stressed that this early disbursement does not resolve the $81-million funding gap the school district needs to close to avoid layoffs and other serious cuts.
Governor Corbett on Monday failed to convince leaders in the House to meet this month and to vote on a two-dollar-a-pack tax on cigarettes.
The $2-per-pack tax, if passed by the state legislature, was expected to provide about $45 million in funding for the School District of Philadelphia.
The district is inviting principals and teachers to present their own instructional ideas to overhaul Philadelphia schools.
In all, 342 layoff notices are going out. A school district spokeswoman says this is unrelated to the cigarette tax standoff in Harrisburg.
Philadelphia’s schools superintendent says if the state legislature doesn’t authorize a cigarette tax by the middle of next month, he’ll begin sending out pink slips.
Hillary Linardopoulos, of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, said the ballot question would be an important — albeit symbolic — statement.
Council president Darrell Clarke said an additional $30 million would serve as a stopgap in case Harrisburg approves a city tax on cigarettes.
Philadelphia school district officials are warning of dire consequences if the city and state don’t quickly come through with millions in new funding.
Drexel paid $25 million for the school building, which the district closed last June.
The money comes from a group called the Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia — from businesses who get Pennsylvania corporate tax credits for contributing.
The report, by the Policy Lab at Children’s Hospital, says 17 percent of Philadelphia school students have been involved with DHS or the juvenile justice system, and 20 percent of those in high schools.