Monday, May 21, 2012

Community-led meeting on District overhaul plans « City School Stories

Community-led meeting on District overhaul plans « City School Stories:

Community-led meeting on District overhaul plans

Notes from the Field
Submitted by Ray Murphy on May 21, 2012
Dear friend,
All of us want Philadelphia to be vibrant. Which is why the current debate over Philadelphia’s schools is so important to Bread & Roses Community Fund stakeholders. But it’s not easy keeping up with all of the details.
Here is a quick summary of what’s going on:
Next week, the School Reform Commission (SRC) will vote on a budget for the School District of Philadelphia which will include a $218 million deficit.1
The School District has made some questionable spending choices in the past. But this year’s multimillion dollar budget gap is largely due to cuts at the state level. And Governor Corbett has proposed even more cuts in education spending, while increasing funds for prisons.
In the midst of this budget crisis, a few weeks ago, the SRC announced a plan to:2
  • increase enrollment at charter schools to 40%
  • close 64 schools in the next five years
  • divide the remaining schools into independent networks to be run by private operators
This plan will not necessarily save the school district money. Nor does it address the lack of equity in public