By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Not enough nurses, too few counselors, oversized classes: All the familiar problems emerged during a Philadelphia city council committee hearing Thursday on the state of the schools. Committee members tried to calculate the cost of restoring some of what the district has lost.

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Councilwoman Helen Gym cut her teeth on public school activism so it’s no surprise one of her first acts was to convene hearings to call attention to the system’s struggles. Educators and advocates recited a familiar litany of losses, due to budget cuts from which the district still hasn’t recovered plus some new ones, such as chronic understaffing because of the outsourcing of substitute teachers. What seemed to rankle Councilman David Oh the most, though, was the pain has not been equally shared, citing charter schools that boast resources unknown to neighborhood schools.

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“In a democratic process, every school should be somewhat equal. You can’t have these difference based on neighborhood.”

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Gym asked about restoring nurses and counselors to all schools. District officials estimated it would cost $20 million.