Local leaders speak about deteriorating schools in West Philadelphia

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Local leaders speak about deteriorating schools in West Philadelphia. Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on September 7, 2018.

Local leaders gathered in West Philadelphia Friday to speak up for students impacted by what they call deteriorating local schools from outdated buildings to lack of adequate air conditioning.

Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym joined officials representing more than 215,000 students outside of Lewis C. Cassidy School.

These officials serve what they call the underfunded school districts of William Penn, Upper Darby, and parts of Philadelphia.

Many schools had to end classes early this week because of the unbearable conditions.

"...Our children had to have school day shortened and suffer through heat indexes while other kids went to full day learning but will be held to the same standards in March and June."

Gym says at Cassidy, the conditions are so bad, it would be cheaper to tear it down than repair it.

These officials want to reinstate what's known as PlanCon funding to pay for upgrades.

Today we heard from the Philadelphia School District which says. Those PlanCon dollars can't be used solely for AC. It would need to be part of a larger renovation project.

Mayor Kenney also tweeted saying yes our schools are in desperate need of improvements. Our kids deserve better.
But upgrading the 137 or so buildings without central air costs about $1 million per site and the state needs to help too.

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