Another round of layoffs for city schools

Posted: June 16, 2013

As the Philadelphia School District continues to grapple with a financial crisis, it announced layoffs Friday of 76 employees.

The new cuts, expected to save $32 million, affect 63 staffers at the district's headquarters at 440 N. Broad St. and 13 employees in regional offices, most working in early childhood education.

This round follows the announcement two weeks ago of 3,783 layoffs, including noontime aides, assistant principals, counselors, teachers, and secretaries.

Combined, the job losses represent a 19.9 percent decrease in the 19,530-member workforce.

As a result of the latest cutbacks, there will be fewer people to respond to the parents' help line, field calls about tardy school buses, or handle students' records. The district will end driver education and the live streaming of School Reform Commission meetings.

The district also said 61 vacant positions will be eliminated. After the cuts, the central office will account for 2.3 percent of the district's $2.39 billion budget.

Overall, the district said it has lost more than a third of its employees since 2011, including a 44.6 percent drop in central office staff.

The layoffs come as the district and education advocates press the city and state to provide more money to fill a $304 million shortfall.

More than 100 students, parents and other schools advocates marched through the rain from LOVE Park to Gov. Corbett's Philadelphia office at 200 S. Broad St. Friday to protest the impending cuts.

A small group of students and parents led by Rabbi Eli Freedman went to Corbett's office in the Bellevue to deliver a letter and invite the governor down to speak. They slid the letter under a darkened glass door when several knocks proved futile.

The interfaith group Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild (POWER), which co-organized the rally with the Philadelphia Students Union, issued an invitation to Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware), Bishop Dwayne Royster said. Pileggi did not attend.


Contact Martha Woodall at 215-854-2789 or martha.woodall@phillynews.com.

Inquirer staff writer Sarah Smith contributed to this article.

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