Philadelphia School Funding (Social Justice Research)

                Public schools in Philadelphia are struggling to give children the proper education they deserve, due to lack of funding. Many of these schools are in a position where they can’t afford supplies and other essentials, leading to different things being cut in order to stay open. Essentials like teachers, counselors, classes, and supplies are now being removed from the schools’ setting. This is a problem that directly effects how the future generation will flourish in society 10-20 years from now. As adults who have already been educated, we should want to help position the upcoming generations to better our future economic development. Teachers who have went into college debt, are now finding it harder than ever to make a living teaching in Philadelphia. Some of these teachers are going as far as to buying their own supplies for the kids to use. Schools removing art and gym classes are taking away from the kids who enjoy being active and using their creativity. Many problems can arise from a shortage of textbooks, counselors, nurses, and teachers. As one of the nation’s largest school districts, Philadelphia should not be in this position.

One thing that should be addressed is the low funding for these schools. Why are we not properly investing in education for the youth? Young kids should not be cut short of the education they deserve. When I was a kid, there was nothing for me to worry about because I practically had everything a school should have. More than 20 schools in Philadelphia have closed down due to the lack of funding. This robs kids of the opportunity to develop into well-educated adults, and limits what they will be able to accomplish in the future. Insufficient funding also puts a strain on preparing students to further their education, and may also lead to them not being interested. If this continues, we are setting ourselves up for an economic down-fall, as far as the development of a society goes. Fixing the funding will help resolve this issue.

Although this problem seems to be overlooked, there have been some proposals to solve the financing of these schools. After the Corbett Administration imposed steep cuts in the general education budget for all school districts across the state, Philadelphia public schools have been in a financial crisis. The SRC (School Reform Commission) has hired the Boston Consulting Group to make recommendations for the reconstructing the district (Sears 2012). Leading to nursing and custodian services being cut. Which is not fair for those labors. Philadelphia’s newspapers have launched drives to obtain pencils, paper, and other basic supplies for schools (Caskey, 2014). There have also been replacements on the local school board. In response to an earlier financial crisis, in 2001, the State of Pennsylvania took control of the Philadelphia school district. Replacing the local school board with a five-member School Reform Commission (Caskey 2014). It has also been under research to see if nonprofit schools vs schools for profit made a difference in the educational standards for the state (Peterson 2009). No matter the method, schools in Philadelphia are struggling financially, this is something that needs to be fixed.

Citations:

Peterson, P. E., & Chingos, M. M. (2009). For-profit and nonprofit management in philadelphia schools. Education Next, 9(2) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1237825331?accountid=14270

Sears, B. (2012, April 30). Philly school “restructure” plan meets stiff opposition. Retrieved February 14, 2015, from http://www.peoplesworld.org/philly-school-restructure-plan-meets-stiff-opposition/

Caskey, John. “THE Philadelphia School District’s ongoing financial crisis.” Education Next 14.4 (2014): 21+. Academic OneFile. Web. 14 Feb. 2015.

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