Spruance Elementary retains teachers amid budget concerns

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At nearly 1,500 students, Spruance Elementary in Northeast Philadelphia is the largest elementary school in the city. (WPVI)

At nearly 1,500 students, Spruance Elementary in Northeast Philadelphia is the largest elementary school in the city.

It is also noted for being able to retain a high number of teachers every year, adding to the stability.

When the district asks where do you want to work, many say Spruance and for a variety of reasons.

"To find a school that had children from different backgrounds because that's what I'm interested in teaching, and it has been proven to be, because my class has so many countries represented," teacher Sonia Thornton said.

The district plans to hire a total of 800 teachers so it is fully staffed by the next school year.

Budgetary planning is already underway.

What any school principal in this state cannot overcome is the uncertainty over the state budget.

It is nearly nine months overdue.

The school district remains hopeful it will pass soon and contain adequate funding, for now, there is only guesswork.

"I just think what we could have done if we were appropriately staffed and we were properly funded, we could do some amazing things here, not that we aren't now," principal Kwand Lang said.

Teachers at Spruance admit working in an urban district has its challenges, and requires you to go way beyond being a teacher quite often.

But even the newest ones say they have no complaints.

"A lot of the students come from very different backgrounds from what I was always used to, but I don't do anything extraordinary, I just do what is good for the kids," teacher Patrick Smith said.

Teacher resignations are due in one month.

Spruance expects to lose only four out of 72 on staff.
Related Topics:
educationphilly newseducationstudentsteachersschoolbudgetNortheast Philadelphia
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