Refusing to Educate Other People’s Children: Woes Continue in Philadelphia

The school district—and the entire state—is engaged in an ongoing and severe violation of the right of Philadelphia students to a ‘thorough and efficient’ education under the Pennsylvania Constitution.”

janresseger

What does it mean when, in June, the leaders of a school district that serves over 131,000 students are working with city and state governments to locate enough money to open school in August?  In the United States—where provision of K-12 education has for nearly two centuries been provided publicly, where it has been believed essential for the formation of an informed democracy, where all have taken for granted the provision of schooling that is free and universally available—what does Pennsylvania’s seeming incapacity to provide adequately staffed schools for Philadelphia’s children mean?

On June 18, the  Associated Press reported that school superintendent William Hite remained alarmed about a gaping hole in next year’s school budget.  Still needed was “at least an additional $96 million to offer students even a ‘wholly inadequate’ education next year.”

Pennsylvania lacks a working formula to distribute funds to local school districts.  At the same time the…

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