3700+ being laid off from Philadelphia School District

Demonstrates protest outside the school district headquarters, Thursday, May 30, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
June 7, 2013 1:54:46 PM PDT
The Philadelphia School District announced Friday is it laying off 3,783 people across entire range of district employees, from senior administrators to support staff.

Superintendent of Schools William Hite made the dramatic announcement Friday afternoon at school district headquarters.

Among those being laid off are the following:

  • 127 assistant principals
  • 676 teachers
  • 283 counselors
  • 1,202 noontime aides
  • 307 secretaries
  • 769 supportive service assistants

    The layoffs represent cuts from some departments by up to 40 percent, Hite said. In all, the district is reducing total workforce of 19,530 by 3,783.

    According to an official from the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators, who spoke earlier Friday, those layoffs were to go into effect June 30th.

    At the offices of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, members were meeting before the district's formal announcement on Friday to plan their response to the layoff notices.

    Jerry Jordan, the president of the PFT, told Action News that the layoffs are "unconscionable" and the School Reform Commission is "putting its budget problems onto the backs of hardworking teachers."

    Jordan went on to say that "schools with only principal and fewer teachers are unsafe."

    News of the job losses comes as the district continues trying to close a $304 million deficit.

    Last week, the School Reform Commission approved a $2.4 billion spending plan that includes deep cuts in art, music, athletics and other programs.

    Opponents called it the "Doomsday Budget."

    The district was required to pass a budget by last Friday. Officials say some of the cuts can be rescinded if they receive extra funding this summer; they've asked the city and state to kick in $180 million and for unions to agree to about $130 million in concessions.

    Action News has obtained the email sent to school principals from Superintendent William Hite about the layoffs.

    It reads:

    Dear Principals,

    This is a follow-up to my message yesterday about layoff notices.

    We understand this is a difficult process for you and your school community. The Office of Human Resources will finish mailing letters today to all school-based employees affected by the layoffs. All principals will receive a list of affected employees from your Human Resources staffer this weekend.

    Your Assistant Superintendent will meet with you to discuss the facts about the layoffs and to guide you in discussing the circumstances with your staff, students and families. I encourage you to utilize your Assistant Superintendent throughout this process. They are available to support you and to answer your questions. We encourage you to work with them on contingency plans for staff absences and other matters. There will be ongoing professional development opportunities and supports for principals and staff throughout the summer and fall to address your needs.

    As difficult as this process might be, we need your cooperation in following our established guidelines and procedures. The school year has not yet ended and our students need your leadership and commitment.

    I greatly appreciate everything that you are doing on behalf of our colleagues, students and District community.

    Thank you for your continued support, cooperation and leadership.

    Sincerely,

    William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D.
    Superintendent


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