Philadelphia Public School Closings

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission announced last Monday that 23 public schools would close after this school year due to the decreased numbers of enrolling students. This startling figure represents just under10 percent of schools in the Philadelphia district and would affect a total of 14,000 currently enrolled students: many of whose parents have turned to protesting the announcement and trying to reverse the decision.

In the announcement itself, the Commission listed the contributing factors for the close, naming decreased enrollment and high maintenance cost as the two largest factors for the closes. This decline in students is blamed partially on Charter schools which have seen a rapid growth this past decade, educating 20,000 more students than ten years ago (in the same time, the district of Philadelphia has lost 23% of the number of attending students). With less students to keep them open, the facilities became not cost efficient, and being older, the buildings became too costly to maintain and their closings are estimated to save the district on the order of $24.5 million dollars.

By Adam Butchy

Admin edit: In response, some are fighting the closings, claiming that the city is wrongly evaluating its priorities, cutting in education to balance the budget.

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