« Rhee Candidate Crushed in W. Sacramento School Board Race | Main | Urban School Leaders Hear Federal Take on Early Ed., Turnarounds »

Philadelphia Officials Vote to Shutter 23 Schools

Philadelphia education officials voted last night to close down 23 schools across the city as a necessary cost-saving measure, despite months-long emotional protests and pleas from civil rights leaders and community activists to consider other options.

The single wave of closures—which will occur at the end of the current academic year—is believed to be one of the largest to have occurred in the nation.

City school officials said the district is facing the possibility of a $1.35 billion deficit over the next five years, which is forcing them to shut down under-enrolled schools across Philadelphia. The district says it has been paying for roughly 53,000 empty seats.

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted to spare four schools that were on the closure list recommended by Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr.

The vote came after a raucous day of demonstrations that included the arrest of 19 opponents of the closure plan. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten was among those arrested.

A recent study of 12 cities—including Philadelphia—found that after schools are shut down, districts struggle to repurpose empty buildings.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments