‘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.”


Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.


Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."


Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.


Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).


Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.


Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.


Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.


Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.


Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…