By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some charter and suburban schools have already started their school years, but Tuesday is the first day for nearly 140-thousand students in the Philadelphia School District.READ MORE: Dozens Of Volunteers Packed Food At Philabundance In South Philly For Food-Insecure Seniors In Honor Of Hunger Action Day
Students are working through the nervous excitement of the first day of school. Teachers feel that uncertainty on several levels, says ESOL teacher Leshawna Coleman.
“We’re here because we love them and want them to learn.” says Coleman. “At the same time, there’s always some apprehension because we don’t know where we stand in terms of our contract.”
Bonnee Bentum is starting at SLA Beeber after 14 years at Overbrook High.
“What’s interesting about being a veteran teacher — no matter what year it is, that night before the first day of school — it is so very hard to sleep!”
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan points out, though, that this is the third year without a teachers contract.READ MORE: Wells Fargo Center Parking Lots Won't Accept Cash As Form Of Payment Starting This Weekend
“The children come in and they’re excited too, and they have smiles on their faces. However, teachers are concerned about the lack of resources.”
The state supreme court is deciding whether the School Reform Commission had the authority to cancel the teachers contract.
In the meantime, there’s still no state budget. Governor Wolf, in Philadelphia for the Labor Day parade, said he’s holding out for a budget that increases education funding.
“Sometimes you have to fight and go through the inconvenience of a fight to get what you really believe is right.” said Wolf. “I’m standing up for what I think is right. And not what’s expedient.”
There’s no state budget, so the district may run out of cash, says Superintendent William Hite.
“Once we get to the end of October, if in fact there’s still not a budget from the state then we will have to begin doing some things that will reduce our spending.”MORE NEWS: 6-Year-Old Girl Hit Multiple Times By Stray Bullets While Inside Parked Car Outside Food Market In Chester
But for now, Hite says the year is beginning without threats of program cuts.