Protests, concern, but still no resolution to Philadelphia schools funding crisis

August 12, 2013 4:18:30 PM PDT
A group of concerned parents and students rallied Monday outside Philadelphia School District Headquarters.

Their concern is centered on the fact that not much has changed since Superintendent Dr. William Hite told state and city officials last Thursday that unless the district can secure an added $50 million of funding by the end of this week, schools will NOT open on time.

"If, in fact, we don't have some information about whether or not we'll have access to the $50 million by Friday, it is not likely we will have a normal school opening on September 9th," Hite told reporters Monday.

Speaking at the school district's annual leadership conference at Samuel Fels High School, Hite told the gathering of principals and administrators he is certain schools will open. He is just not sure when.

That was not good news for William Wade, the principal of Martin Luther King High School, which will be adding students from Germantown High School to its population this fall.

Germantown was among the schools permanently shut down at the end of the last school year.

Wade says merging rival schools from tough neighborhoods can be difficult, and he needs to know if he will have the money to keep his conflict resolution officers on the payroll.

"We need those people back to help us continue to stay off [the state's] persistently dangerous list. Martin Luther King hasn't been on that list for four years now, and we don't want to be on that list," he said.

Meantime, AMY Northwest Middle School Principal Marco Zanoni says he simply cannot believe the district's budget woes have reached this point.

"I think it's so disrespectful to an institution. I mean, the school district is doing the best job that it can under the circumstances. I just don't understand it. I really don't," he said.

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