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
National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…