Philadelphia school’s Superintendent William Hite addressed the 212 principals who gathered Monday morning for a leadership conference.
Mayor Michael Nutter is playing down a rift between himself and City Council president Darrell Clarke over the school funding crisis in the Philadelphia School District.
The superintendent of Philadelphia’s troubled school system says he can’t open city schools next month without another $50 million in funding.
Schools superintendent William Hite says he has identified $33 million that the district can spend now to restore itinerant music teachers, fall sports, and at least one secretary per school.
It was a bittersweet melody at Philadelphia School District headquarters as instrumental music teachers played a farewell concert. They are all being laid off due to budget cuts.
In a letter to staff, schools superintendent William Hite describes the cut positions as “essential” even though at the moment there’s no extra money from the city or state, which are putting their budgets together over the next month.
The mayor and superintendent William Hite rallied outside the statehouse before heading inside to lobby individual legislators, seeking $120 million in extra state money and legislative approval for the city to raise its liquor and cigarette taxes.
Charter operators and district officials gathered at Boys’ Latin Charter School, in West Philadelphia, to join in the push for city and state money to fill the district’s $304-million budget gap.
Superintendent William Hite’s budget relies on labor concessions — including teacher pay cuts from 5 to 13 percent, and an end to teacher seniority.
The city plans to increase taxes on smokers and drinkers, and redouble its collection efforts on property taxes.
Meanwhile, aides to the mayor are clarifying how he wants to raise the city’s portion.
“The budget, in its current form, simply cannot support the services provided this year,” SRC chair Pedro Ramos told Philadelphia lawmakers.
The cash-strapped district pays more than $50 million a year for the 6000 Philadelphia students who choose cyber charters over district schools.
Philadelphia schools superintendent William Hite on Friday put himself in the shoes of schoolkids who would have a much longer walk if their school is permanently closed.
Some communities are feeling relief, while others have renewed anger over the revised list of Philadelphia public school closures.