Philadelphia School District could shutter 40 underutilized schools to close deficit

d1beecd7c603abd5c16fc80a67d8e9eb
RIKARD LARMA/METRO

Plagued by a massive deficit and persistent school violence, the School District of Philadelphia today announced a drastic plan to overhaul the district.

Chief Recovery Officer Tom Knudsen said the plan would call for closing 40 underforming and underutilized schools next year and possibly another 24 schools by 2017. The district will also look to restructure labor contracts, freeze non-personnel spending until 2016 and privatize maintenance and transportation services.

“If we don’t close these schools, and we just keep them up — and a lot of them have very low utilization — we’re blowing about $33 million,” Knudsen said at a press conference. “We can’t afford that.”

The district is facing a $218 million shortfall for the year that starts July 1, and the five-year plan projects a deficit of $1.1 billion without these measures, Knudsen said. It also relies on actual value initiative that would generate an extra $90 million from property taxes, but that must be approved by City Council.

Additionally, the district will reduce Central Office staff and put out RFPs for achievement networks, which will provide resources and support to clusters of schools. The networks will have performance contracts that will include safety benchmarks and other standards.

The plan needs the approval of the School Reform Commission. The district will also schedule five community sessions to get input from community members.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Local

New York-based Century 21 store coming to The…

The former Strawbridge & Clothier building will once again host a department store. City officials on Thursday announced New York-based Century 21 Department Stores will…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

MLB

The return of Cole Hamels brings optimism

Cole Hamels’ quality start Wednesday was a nice change of pace from his recent season debuts.

MLB

Tony Gwynn Jr. a nice surprise for Phillies

Tony Gwynn Jr. has been a plus in every way for the Phillies.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

Food

Hai Street Kitchen opening in Rittenhouse May 22

Japanese cuisine will get a Chipotle-style twist at Hai Street Kitchen & Co., a new casual, quick-food restaurant opening near Rittenhouse Square on May 22.…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.