‘Keep the pressure on:’ Parents pack City Hall and Harrisburg over school budget cuts


Parents packed City Hall today to rally against school budget cuts. Rikard Larma/Metro
Parents packed City Hall today to rally against school budget cuts. Rikard Larma/Metro

Parents of students in the Philadelphia School District descended today not only on City Hall here but in Harrisburg to hand deliver thousands of letters written by city students urging legislators to help fund the school budget.

Sarah Clark Stuart, who has a freshman at the Science Leadership Academy on 22nd Street in Philadelphia, made the trek to the state capital with about 20 others to let her voice heard.

“I support all the bills,” Stuart said. “I want all the bills passed. I want the city to deliver $60 million to the school district. I want the state to deliver $120 million.”

City Council is discussing two bills that Mayor Michael Nutter said would help fund the $300 million shortfall in the School District of Philadelphia’s budget. One is upping taxes on liquor-by-the drink; the other is increasing the cigarette tax by $2.

Stuart, along with other parents and students, visited more than 20 offices today and ended at Gov. Tom Corbett’s office where they—in threes—marched to the receptionist’s desks and dumped thousands of letters.

“The kids were absolutely fabulous,” Stuart said, adding that at a press conference today, several students read from their letters.

“As far as I’m concerned,” Stuart said, “everything has to be put on the table. Schools can’t be schools without these funds.”

With only a few more weeks left before final decisions on the budget need to be made, Stuart said there’s no turning back now.

“We’re going to keep it up,” she said. “What we came away with is we have to keep the pressure on. We have to keep ourselves front and center and make education the number one priority.”


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.


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.


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…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


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."


'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…


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…


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.


#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.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

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


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

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