Back to school for many area students

PHILADELPHIA - August 26, 2013

First grader Nail Noel summed up his view of school, telling us, "In school you get to learn a lot."

And that's why the students at Russell Byers Charter School are excited to get back to class on this first day of the school year - even if it is one week before Labor Day.

Kalina Kozlowski explains, "You get to see all your friends from last year."

And fourth grader Dylan Hughes tells us, "You get to meet new friends you didn't see over summer, you get back to learning, and you get back to lunch, recess, math."

Upstairs, Ms. K welcomed her class of second graders after a very enthusiastic roll call. After breakfast and catching up, it was time to establish a few ground rules, like the special signal to quiet down – a bell ring.

The kids caught on quickly.

Still amid the first day fun, the financial issues are far from over for the Philadelphia School District. The search for more funding continues. The principal of this public charter school says the focus today and the rest of the school year is to make sure students across the city get the education they deserve.

Drew Smith, CEO and Principal at Russell Byers Charter School, tells Action News, "Most of our funds come from the same source: the State of Pennsylvania. Our budgets are one year behind the schools from the School District of Philadelphia. So, we're facing same crisis in a year. We face the same crisis this year that they faced last year."

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