Faces of the school district layoffs collected online

Faces and the stories of the school district workers laid-off in the past two weeks. Photo courtesy of facesofthelayoffs.org.
The faces and stories of the school district workers laid off in the last two weeks. Credit: facesofthelayoffs.org.

These are their faces.

Many wear smiles. Some sit at their desk. Some pose with completed projects, others with students.

Most seem oblivious to the fate that awaits them on July 1.

Meet some of the 3,859 teachers, counselors, secretaries and assistant principals who were slipped pink. They are the faces of the layoffs.

A new website, facesofthelayoffs.org, catalogues their mugs and stories. The goal is to force lawmakers to restore funding and restore the lost jobs. And they want the city, state and school district to look at them as people, and not numbers.

Larissa Pahomov had the idea. The Science Leadership Academy English teacher still has her job, but she wanted to honor one of her fellow educators who lost hers. The site is operated by a handful of full-time teachers.

“One thing the site is hopefully doing is showing people all of the different types of employees that it takes to make a successful school community,” she said. “We want people to see that all of these people are essential and it’s happening in every school building in Philadelphia.”

Monday was SLA’s graduation. “And normally this would be a time for celebration,” Pahomov said, “And really it’s a time almost of dread.”

She explained that when people hear the number of layoffs, “You think, ‘Oh, wow, that’s a lot of teachers.’

“But you don’t connect with a number,” she said. “You connect with a story.”

The site has 153 entries posted so far and counting. There have been more than 300,000 hits on the site as of 3:30 p.m. Monday.

The school district’s $304 million budget gap is supposed to be closed with a combination of a $2 cigarette tax, the liquor-by-the-drink tax, $120 million in state funding and a combination of teachers union concessions and stronger delinquent tax collections.

But the liquor-by-the-drink tax has stalled in the City Council. The State House must approve the cigarette tax. The state says it doesn’t have the $120 million. The City Council’s budget is due June 30.

Robert Rawlings was shocked. The new father who taught history at Girls’ High for four years was blindsided by his notice. But the website offers support.

“It makes you feel like you’re not alone,” he said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.