$33 million restores jobs, sports programs

Philadelphia School District Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. is calling for the city and state to help maintain school programs through extra aid. (file photo)
(File photo)

Music teachers, school secretaries and sports programs will return before classes begin on Sept. 9.

School officials announced at a special School Reform Commission meeting Friday that thanks to $33 million – from a combination of state funding and local savings – the district can return some programs and positions eliminated in the “Doomsday Budget.”

In June, the district laid off roughly 3,800 employees in an attempt to fill a $304 million budget hole. With funding from the state, and savings from budget cuts and tougher city tax collections, the district will return 220 full-time secretaries, or one for each school, back to their positions this fall. All 66 itinerant music teachers will also return at least through January, and athletic programs will be restored for every school in the system.

Superintendent William Hite said secretaries were vital to the operations, and music and sports were essential. Assistant principals, counselors and aides remain unemployed.

Also at the meeting, the SRC approved the conversion of three elementary schools into charter schools: Pastorius Elementary will be run by Mastery Charter Schools; Kenderton Elementary will be run by Scholar Academies; James Alcorn will be run by Universal Cos.

By the numbers

The $33 million breakdown:

$17.6 million: secretaries and reorganization

$3.9 million: music teachers

$3.7 million: athletics

$7.8 million: overhaul low-performing schools


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