With the clock ticking, community members made pleas to keep several schools open.
Speakers from Sheppard Elementary in Kensington said they wanted the SRC to know about their small but thriving school, where students consistently meet state standards despite the poverty and challenges of their surroundings.
Sheppard offers dance, chess, cheerleading, a meditation club, a garden, and more.
"Our students are filled with the joy of reading instead of the stress of the test," teacher Jamie Roberts said.
Others spoke up for Harrison Elementary in North Philadelphia.
State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas (D., Phila.) expressed concern that the School District was closing too many neighborhood public schools while charters flourished.
Members of an active community at E.M. Stanton, another targeted school, have presented the SRC with a counterproposal. They suggested ways to keep the school open, including using Stanton as a site for students with autism.
Speakers also expressed grave concerns about the district budget situation. With four months left in the school year, officials must still cut $38.8 million. City Controller Alan Butkovitz has expressed concern about the district's financial viability.
But Commissioner Feather O. Houstoun, who chairs the SRC finance committee, said the district would be able to meet its debt service and salary obligations.
Still, students, teachers, and parents said the cuts - more than $600 million has been lost - had been crippling.
Baseerah Watson, a senior at Sayre High, said the school had lost teachers and after-school programs and was less safe. "My school is slowly going under," Watson said.
Two members of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity also addressed the SRC.
The Revs. Terrence Griffith and Kevin Johnson said they were upset by their lack of voice in district decisions, including the superintendent search.
Contact staff writer Kristen Graham at 215-854-5146, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @newskag on Twitter. Read her blog, "Philly School Files," at www.philly.com/schoolfiles.