Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Philadelphia Teachers Hit by Latest Cuts -

It has always disturbed me and I have never understood why so much of the electorate resents public school education spending.  `The teachers are resented (overpaid, unionized, can't fire the bad ones), the students (failing? their parents don't read to them at night).'  In Europe - where conservatives are doing what they can to impose austerity - it remains the case that teachers have much higher social status and better pay.  And they are doing at the things we say we value: education, opportunity, environmental efficiency, etc.  - gwc

Philadelphia Teachers Hit by Latest Cuts -

by Motoko Rich

"PHILADELPHIA — Money is so short at Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences, a public middle school here, that a nurse works only three afternoons a week, leaving the principal to oversee the daily medication of 10 children, including a diabetic who needs insulin shots. On the third floor filled with 200 seventh and eighth graders, one of two restrooms remains locked because there are not enough hall monitors. And in a sixth-grade math class of 33 students with only 11 textbooks to go around, the teacher rations paper used to print out homework equations."


According to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit policy research group, Mr. Corbett has cut close to $1 billion from the state’s education budget. But an administration spokesman said that such an analysis counted some federal stimulus money and that state funding has increased since 2011.

“Is anything ever enough?” said Carolyn C. Dumaresq, acting secretary of education in Pennsylvania and an appointee of Mr. Corbett. “I really think $1.3 billion is a lot of money,” she said, referring to the state’s allocation to Philadelphia, a district of about 131,360 students and close to 60,800 incharter schools. As a former district superintendent, she said, “I could have always found more ways to spend more money, but at some point in time you have to balance that against the taxpayers’ ability to pay.”

In Philadelphia, students, who organized a walkout and demonstrations last week to protest the cancellation of their teachers’ contract, worry that soon no one will want to work in the district.

“I really hope that this type of thing doesn’t drive great teachers out of the city,” said Nikki Adeli, a senior at Science Leadership Academy, a magnet high school in central Philadelphia, who is also a youth commissioner to Mayor Michael A. Nutter.

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