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Old 09-04-2013, 06:02 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 18,921,816 times
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And some here still swear the Philly public school system is doing well and its fine to send your kids to.. .

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
Excerpt from an article posted this Monday on the subject:

"The School District of Philadelphia, the eighth largest school district in the United States, nestled in the country’s fifth largest city, will make history when it permanently closes it doors within the next two years.
While Philadelphia is one of the largest school districts in the country, it is also one of the most bankrupt. The district will start the 2013-2014 school on September 9 but stares at a $304 million deficit. If it weren’t for the city borrowing $50 million on behalf of the school district, none of the 218 public schools would be opening next week. The slight infusion of money allows Superintendent William Hite to open schools on time but it’s far from meeting the needs of the district that had to lay off 20 percent of its total staff over the summer. It was the second consecutive year of thinning out staff that saw 3,800 teacher and staff positions eliminated, 100 school nurses, 90 school resource officers, and 43 bilingual counselors.

Although the school district continues to have financial and academic trouble year after year, the finger pointing halts at the State of Pennsylvania. After taking control of the district in 2001, the state has not fixed any of the problems in Philadelphia; allowing the current situation to spread like a virus. Jerusah O. Conner is an education professor at Villanova University and is an expert on the Philadelphia school district. In a recent interview, Professor Conner said that the state shoulders much of the blame for the district’s problems. “Pennsylvania ranks 8th lowest in the country, spending only 35.8 percent on education. Were it not for the deliberate underinvestment and disinvestment in Philadelphia schools by the state, the district could easily be enjoying a multibillion dollar surplus instead of a deficit.”


Read more: Why Philadelphia schools will close their doors forever
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:05 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
And some here still swear the Philly public school system is doing well and its fine to send your kids to.. .
Just since you quoted me:

I want to be clear that I didn't post this article to support some point about whether or not the Philadelphia schools are in a dire situation. That's something that should be obvious to anyone in Philly not living in a cave.
What the facts presented in the articles posted in this thread do support is that Philly schools could actually be doing much better if they hadn't been systematically defunded and dismantled over the past several years by state level interests. Pointing fingers at the philly public school system for this situation, or even worse at teachers, parents or even the students themselves, seems a bit like blaming the victim.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista
2,472 posts, read 3,486,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
Just since you quoted me:

I want to be clear that I didn't post this article to support some point about whether or not the Philadelphia schools are in a dire situation. That's something that should be obvious to anyone in Philly not living in a cave.
What the facts presented in the articles posted in this thread do support is that Philly schools could actually be doing much better if they hadn't been systematically defunded and dismantled over the past several years by state level interests. Pointing fingers at the philly public school system for this situation, or even worse at teachers, parents or even the students themselves, seems a bit like blaming the victim.
Thank you very much for posting that article. What the state of Pennsylvania has done to Philadelphia schools is criminal.

It's been over a decade and it's clear they've only made problems worse. Is there any hope that Philadelphia is able to take back control?
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:54 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillies2011 View Post
Thank you very much for posting that article. What the state of Pennsylvania has done to Philadelphia schools is criminal.

It's been over a decade and it's clear they've only made problems worse. Is there any hope that Philadelphia is able to take back control?
I wonder whether what the state has done to Philly schools since they took them over (especially since it's called into question state constitutional issues) is lawsuit-worthy? Seems like it.

Chester-upland successfully sued the state for what they did there. Has this been floated as an option for Philly? I mean, the city is having to take out a 50 million dollar loan this year just to get the schools' doors open. That's not good.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:49 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
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So, since the School District can't/won't sue the state because (conveniently!) the state basically IS the School District ever since they took it over... it looks like the only option left is for parents to take this directly to the state.

Somebody's got to step up.

Parents Considering Legal Action Over Hobbled Philadelphia Schools « CBS Philly
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillies2011 View Post
Thank you very much for posting that article. What the state of Pennsylvania has done to Philadelphia schools is criminal.

It's been over a decade and it's clear they've only made problems worse. Is there any hope that Philadelphia is able to take back control?
when the city ran it it was the worst district in the country (a title that now belongs to DC). the reason the state took over was that the city was asking for enormous sums of money especially for Philadelphia. When the city begins funding education in the same way as other counties it should regain control of the schools.
does anybody really think john street would have done a better job?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
...
Chester-upland successfully sued the state for what they did there. Has this been floated as an option for Philly? I mean, the city is having to take out a 50 million dollar loan this year just to get the schools' doors open. That's not good.
the city can't just give the district $50 million because there's a state law barring one time payments. clarke proposed exchanging the $50 million for the unused school buildings which was probably a better idea than the school loan. the psd itself can't borrow anymore because they took on an awful $300 million loan last year to meet payroll
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post

the city can't just give the district $50 million because there's a state law barring one time payments. clarke proposed exchanging the $50 million for the unused school buildings which was probably a better idea than the school loan. the psd itself can't borrow anymore because they took on an awful $300 million loan last year to meet payroll
And both of those loans had to be taken out because of massive and disproportionate cuts in state funding, as previously noted.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
And both of those loans had to be taken out because of massive and disproportionate cuts in state funding, as previously noted.
not really, that's wishful thinking
Quote:
“It is imperative for us to emphasize that we have been citing the district since 1987 for inaccurate collection and reporting of child accounting data,” the auditors wrote. “The commonwealth’s taxpayers deserve to know that every dollar is accurately accounted for, and, to that end, no error rate is acceptable.”
the reality is "state cuts" (which really means non-increases since state funding has been essentially flat) are only a piece of the puzzle. runaway pension costs (eating up another $120 million this year), the fact that PSD workers pay nothing for healthcare, and decades of poor accounting and bad decisions have fnially caught up with the district. The intelligent thing would have been to bite the bullet last year instead of taking on a loan (one of ackerman's last acts) which simply exacerbated the problem (that loan is eating up $22 million this year). We've heard "kick the can down the road" for a long time, well, we finally ran out of road. blaming the state alone is a cop out
Auditors have warned of Philly School District accounting problems since 1987
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:05 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
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"Blaming the state alone" is different from acknowledging that the state's actions towards Philadelphia in particular have greatly exacerbated the district's problems, reflect a clear political agenda, and that without them the district would be in a much more tenable position. That's something which is clearly laid out in articles already posted in this thread.
I don't see any reason why PA state taxpayers in Philadelphia should be seeing proportionately less funding from the state than other urban districts in the state. And I don't know why we shouldn't hold the state accountable for all of the actions of the SRC.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Philly
10,026 posts, read 14,474,108 times
Reputation: 2774
Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
"Blaming the state alone" is different from acknowledging that the state's actions towards Philadelphia in particular have greatly exacerbated the district's problems, reflect a clear political agenda, and that without them the district would be in a much more tenable position. That's something which is clearly laid out in articles already posted in this thread.
I don't see any reason why PA state taxpayers in Philadelphia should be seeing proportionately less funding from the state than other urban districts in the state. And I don't know why we shouldn't hold the state accountable for all of the actions of the SRC.
this is a common but mistaken belief. it simply reflects Philadelphia's own sense of entitlement to state funds. in reality, there has been no movement towards singling out Philadelphia in particular. the reality is that poorly run districts like Philadelphia's are less capable of handling increasing pressure owing to flat funding from the state and poor property tax collection by the city.Philadelphia receives proportionally more funding from the state than most districts, not less. sure, the state should be held accountable for the actions of the SRC but let's not pretend that the district was ruined by the state, it's not even worse, it's just running out of rope. hopefully this crisis will force the city to get seriuos about collecting taxes and funding its own school district and eventually running it themselves in a reasonably competent manner.
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