Philadelphia City Council’s committee on education will hear testimony today on the planned closure of 37 public schools and the impact the closures will have on students, parents, teachers, principals and members the school district unions.
Leaders of the Philadelphia School Workers Union 32BJ SEIU will testify alongside public education advocates in support of a one-year moratorium on school closures.
In a recent PEW Charitable Trusts report, Shuttered Public Schools: The Struggle to Bring Old Buildings New Life, it examines the school disposition process in Philadelphia and 11 other cities that have significant inventories of decommissioned schools. The report cited School District Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced plans to shutter 15 percent of Philadelphia’s district-run schools in December 2012 as "one of the nation’s largest single-year closings"
Twelve school district buildings were put up for sale in 2012 and the school district has approved the sale of six of them. From 2005 to 2012, 11 school district properties have been sold, leased or repurposed in Philadelphia, according to PEW.