Save our school supporters attend SRC meeting

December 20, 2012 8:31:53 PM PST
The School Reform Commission held its first meeting Thursday night since the release of the controversial school closure list in the Philadelphia School District.

Parents, teachers, and students took to the mic with their concerns.

"Who is taking into consideration that my kids will be traveling a great distance to and from school everyday," one parent said.

Fears of long commutes, a chaotic transition and larger classrooms led the list of concerns.

Earlier in the day, opposers of the list protested at the McCloskey School in Mt. Airy and the George Washington School in South Philadelphia.

The 'Save Our School' demonstrations were held as a push back to being on list of 37 schools to be closed.

School supporters say these two institutions should not be on the list as academics are improving and facility evaluations are inaccurate.

"Our AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) numbers are up; test scores have changed dramatically. Everything is going up," Danielle Streater of the George Washington School said.

Last week, the District's new superintendent William Hite endorsed the list, estimated to save $28-million.

The district is hemorrhaging red ink and it has more capacity than students.

For example, University City High was built for 2,600 it currently has about 500 students.

Hite pointed out last week the 37 closings are a recommendation; it's up to the SRC to make the final decision.

"While I recommend all 37 as one group, I am not naive to understand that action could be taken on all or part," Hite said.

Hite listened Thursday night along with the SRC.

The final approval is in the hands of the commission.

More hearings are expected to come in the future with a final decision scheduled for March.


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