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District invites outside bidders to maintain its buildings

By Benjamin Herold on Feb 22, 2012 06:29 PM

by Benjamin Herold
for the Notebook/WHYY’s NewsWorks 
 

Still searching for millions of dollars in savings and hoping to extract concessions from its largest blue-collar union, the cash-strapped School District has issued a request for proposals for outside vendors to provide facilities management services in hundreds of District-owned buildings.

The District is "seeking greater operational efficiencies and reduced costs through innovative building management solutions" at "approximately 400 buildings. comprising 10 million square feet of space," according to the RFP.

Potential vendors are asked to submit bids for how they might provide more efficient custodial, maintenance, and grounds services ranging from cleaning and pest control to building repair to snow removal. The invitation for bids appears to cover all District facilities.

But District spokesperson Fernando Gallard said no final decision has been made on whether the work now done by District employees should be outsourced to private contractors.

In its search for cost savings, Gallard said, "one area that warrants further analysis is the cost of maintenance and cleaning of the District’s facilities." He said the RFP "will allow the District to take a look at options."

"In addition, the District is engaged in ongoing conversations with Local 32BJ District 1201 bargaining unit to explore alternatives for comparable efficiencies and cost savings using a District workforce that would contribute to closing the budget gap for fiscal year 2013 and onward,” Gallard said

That union's president, George Ricchezza, was guarded in his initial reaction to the request for proposals. "We're looking at all the information as it comes in," he said.

For months, relations between the District and members of District 1201 of SEIU Local 32BJ have been tense. All of the union's members – roughly 2,200  school bus drivers, mechanics, custodians, and other blue-collar workers – have recently received layoff notices, effective either sometime next fall or December 31, 2012. Their contract requires the District to give them one year advance notice before they can be terminated.

The School Reform Commission also recently decided to withhold a scheduled 3 percent raise due the blue-collar workers, a move that saved $1.4 million but provoked a massive turnout of District 1201 members at the SRC's January 19 meeting.

At the time, Ricchezza called the move part of "the dismantling of the public school system." In response to the protest and Richezza's remarks, SRC Chair Pedro Ramos promised to begin talks with the union, which are now underway.

The District hosted a vendor conference for respondents to the RFP today. Proposals are due March 9, and the "anticipated date of commencement of services" is July 2012, according to the RFP.  

The SRC is still seeking tens of millions of dollars in cuts to close a budget gap for this year. On top of that, the District has estimated the gap for next year is more than $260 million.

At the behest of new Chief Recovery Officer Tom Knudsen, the SRC recently hired an outside management consultant to lead a massive, rapid organizational restructuring and stabilize the District's financial picture.

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Comments (66)

Submitted by anonymous. (not verified) on February 22, 2012 7:55 pm

How much more abuse from them do we need to get off our collective ass and fight back?

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Submitted by K.R. Luebbert (not verified) on February 22, 2012 8:02 pm

Do these people understand that the people who clean and maintain our buildings are not just 'cleaners for hire' but an integral part of the school community? Building staff are in the schools for many hours when students are present and need to be able to act professionally around students and have relationships that work with other staff. Will these people who bid for services have workers who can pass all required criminal checks? How will we make sure our students will be safe? I do not trust these for-profit companies to have the best interests of the students at heart.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on February 22, 2012 9:10 pm

Every time we have contracted out for services in the past, the result was pathetic.

When Paul Vallas cut the NTA's and hired outside contractors to replace them, it was a disaster. They were so bad at Mastbaum it was like another set of children and we had to watch them just like we did the kids. They were useless and a drain on my time.

I do not know all of the outside contractors Vallas hired to perform services, but you could always count on them not knowing what they are doing.

That is what happens when your organization has no institutional memory -- you make the same mistakes over and over again.

KR is absolutely right about many building engineers and maintenance people -- they are integral members of the school community and are often like big brothers and big sisters to the kids. The value of that cannot be replaced by outsiders.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 22, 2012 9:31 pm

"Integral part of the school community"

I wish.

Submitted by K.R. Luebbert (not verified) on February 22, 2012 9:03 pm

Well, they are an integral part of the community at our school, and I do not trust outside vendors and the SRC to replace them.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 22, 2012 10:37 pm

Pardon my snark. My experience with custodial staff has been very hit or miss. It took me a week to even get a vacuum for myself to clean a filthy rug with one custodian. They also refused to come within 20 feet of mice droppings which are an unfortunate reality of our school.

You're probably right, though. I think it would have to save a lot of money to be anywhere near worth it. As with most things in the District, I think the system is probably good with the proviso that it needs to be easier to fire the worst custodians.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on February 22, 2012 10:42 pm

It does depend on the school and the culture of the school. Some are more valuable than others. At Furness they were and probably still are very much part of the school community. The size of the school probably affects the way the building engineers and others work with the school community.

It's like anything else -- a pleasant and helpful person is worth their weight in gold.

Submitted by Concerned Philadelphian (not verified) on February 23, 2012 5:37 am

There are committed custodial workers just like there are committed teachers and there are "take the money (which isn't much for custodial workers) run" custodial workers just like teachers.

The bottom line is the SDP is busting another union. Unions are one of the few institutions, however flawed, of the 99% against the 1%. The PFT, CASA, and 1201 need to stand together. As previous post suggest, the dismantling of NTA's and replacing them with workers hired by groups like ASPIRA, was a disaster. Olney high school in 2005-2006 was a disaster under the revolving door NTAs. Most were not much older than the students and spent most of the time "hanging" rather than getting students to class.

Schools are a composite of ALL staff and families/students.

Submitted by R.J.G. (not verified) on February 23, 2012 12:44 pm

The teacher's union,the principal's union,beware! They will be back for you!
Once upon a time there were 13 sovereignties and they were having a problem with thier fatherland;taxation without representation. Through much contention and debate they came to the conclusion,that they needed to seperate themselves from the fatherland. At the signing of the declaration of independence it was Benjamin Franklin who said, "We must all hang together,or assuredly we shall all hang seperatly." Drop your pride and unite!!!!!!!!!.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2012 1:45 pm

Taxation without representation? Coming from someone who lives off the taxpayers??? You made my day!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 26, 2012 11:45 am

Yes, public school employees get paid with tax money. We also pay income taxes, just like you. We also buy houses, products, services, etc. Anyone who works in the public sector has a steady source of income that gets put back into the local and state economies.

Many areas of private industry, for example, the oil industry, receives federal subsidies. Subsidies are funded by the tax payers.

So what is your overall point here? I believe in our society's decision to have public education. Therefore anyone who would threaten that would not have my vote. You are free to support candidates that don't support public education. But we are both assured of representation in our government regardless.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on February 26, 2012 3:36 pm

Private schools - like parochial schools - also benefit from taxes. Students at private schools get transportation, special education services, Title 1, etc.

Submitted by anonymous. (not verified) on February 23, 2012 5:58 pm

Silly person-----------don't you see the natural conclusion of getting rid of custodians?? This is a threat against unions to make them back down. DON"T fall for it or even remotely buy into any of it. If we don't hang together, they'll pick us off one at a time. If you're a union person, you need to cleanse your brain and get real about the agenda at play here.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2012 12:42 pm

Well MR or Mrs Anonymous unfortunately you had a worker who may have been scared of mice themselves. Sorry that the School District hasn't provided us with new equipment either as they do all of the new vendor's. We've been holding on with the little bit of resources that we have, but making the best of it. Local 1201 has been designed to fail since all of the greed from the politicians and our very own Mayor. But it didn't start with him. This has been in place since Rendell was our mayor now Nutter wants to finish us off. Charter schools are not always the answer. Check the real records on the performance of there students. Our district is the only District who reports the real information on violence etc.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2012 7:33 pm

I have seen the same boorish teaching in our schools...Do we fire them too!!!....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 5, 2012 8:33 am

Well, first of all most rugs brought into the classrooms are done so by the teachers themselves... At least in my school they are... Also, The custodian(me), has been buying my own Vacuum cleaners belts for years... At one time they used to hand them out by the handfuls. Now, our managers tell us they never have them... So, in order to vacuum most guys buy them... Also, try vacuuming with bags that are duck taped, ripped, torn,etc... This is how we do our jobs everyday. Most vacuums are so old I've never even heard of the brands. As for the mice droppings, I like many others come clean them up even if we're on our lunch... I eat on site, and even with food in my mouth I handle whatever it is I'm called for... So, I'll end it there without even going into the bad teachers that are out there. At this moment, the Phila. School dist. can't even Admin. stand. testing because some(not all) teachers were accused of helping the kids Cheat... So, there are bad apples in all fields... Sorry you have the custodian you have,,, but don't judge all of us unfairly,, and I won't accuse you of cheating...

Submitted by anonymous. (not verified) on February 22, 2012 9:06 pm

Of course, this is another shot at union busting and threats--just let them try it and watch what happens That will be the final straw in my opinion. Yes, the NTA replacements were unbelievable. They were replaced like every week for all sorts of misbehavior much of it with police involvement in my school. Scary stuff but making money and ending unions are what all of this is all about. Hopefully when they push too far, we'll react with the hostility that's required to repel them.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 22, 2012 10:00 pm

Will there be a computer left anywhere in these schools?

Submitted by linda (not verified) on February 22, 2012 10:50 pm

The good custodials workers like the rest of faculty and staff show up, work hard and do a little extra. Their reward?
Those who are not so good, stay home, fall mysteriously ill or never get to the job in the first place, making more work for the good workers who now must "call in" to get "permission to work" a little longer so as to get the job done.

Mind you there are less workers any way. Hence, less gets done by less people who leave more work for the rest of us. US includes the builidng engineer, custodial staff, teachers etc. Please remember that.

Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on February 23, 2012 7:20 am

Of course we need unions to keep workers from being exploited, but they need to get more creative about negotiations. Some workers can make more concessions than others, for example they might be part of two income households; such things as fewer hours in exchange for job retention (not only theirs but their peers). These concessions can come with demanded/compensating guarantees, such as job security and priority in reestablishing hours once finances stabilize. Certainly it is in the interest of the PSD to retain their experience rather than hiring less experienced, and likely less motivated (more underpaid) replacements.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2012 5:06 pm

And exactly who decides whether an employee can make more concessions than another employee?Who says their job can get done in fewer hours?

WE all know where the dead weight is. Why are they hiring consultants? ASK THE TEACHERS.

Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on February 24, 2012 6:53 pm

Only the employees themselves. From the employer's perspective, fewer hours from more experienced personnel would likely equal the longer hours from less experienced employees. Union demands should allow flexibility among the workers it represents. I think protection of workers rights is not the same as making a "one size fits all" contract. If no one wishes, or is able to make these concessions, well then that is that. It should be considered though.

Btw, from good conversations here, my impression is teachers know more about teaching than business, and so it should be. In addition it would be a conflict of interest to ask teachers to decide where cuts should be made. They can vouch for what works and is needed, and should be included in the decision making; however they would not know about funding options, credit and investments, and debt management.

Submitted by youngphillyteacher (not verified) on February 24, 2012 7:54 pm

We might not know much about "funding options, credit and investments, and debt management", but we can see incompetent administrators, corruption and waste in front of our eyes. Can you, so competent in "funding options, credit and investments, and debt management" tell us how much money the District wasted on the outside contractors with zero effect on educational outcome?
And can you explain what do you mean by "Union demands should allow flexibility among the workers it represents". What kind of "flexibility"? The same kind that decimated salaries and benefits of auto industry workers?

Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on February 24, 2012 8:37 pm

Right, and what is the exact connection between spending and "educational outcome"? I do not work for the District, and have a hard time comprehending how the millions of $ of grant money managed to affect basic/core funding which generally they (grants) are prohibited from replacing. In addition I do not have the code key to decipher Mr. Masch's "open books", which would satisfy my raging curiosity, and enable me to answer your question.

It's obvious the PSD has a problem with discerning and doing anything about workers who are incompetent. It is mired in, well, in what? Itself I guess... which is why an "outside" (hopefully competent) entity needs a look.

What I mean by "union demands should allow flexibility among the workers it represents" is (for one example) those who can and are willing to defer immediate compensation in the form of shorter hours for future guaranteed compensation should be allowed to do so, rather than having a "one size fits all" deal where this option is unavailable. It should not be seen as an assault on fair wages and benefits. I believe (check my memory here) Knudsen has already asked higher paid (above $75,000ish) non union workers to accept a salary freeze. This seems to me a reasonable request. Why is it only o.k. to ask non union workers?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2012 7:10 am

Not only does the maintenance and cleaning staff perform the regular duties of the job. They also go WAY above and beyond what is called for in MOST buildings. I have seen them work with the children by starting a dance team, organizing a talent show, fund raise to help the school, read with children that need extra help and just be a friend sometimes. They also help the staff of the building in areas that have been left vacant since all the layoffs by receiving orders that were the nta's job, hanging pictures, posters and banners, making bulletin boards pretty and helping to keep order at lunch time. All things that alot of people would say not my job but they do it because they are constantly told you are lucky to have a job. They are definitly part of the school community! Celebrating happy and sad times together like a family! It would be a HUGE mistake to think they could be easily replaced with out a major disruption.

Submitted by Zach.O on February 23, 2012 11:07 am

Well, no matter how people feel about the costs the most important thing is making sure the job is done properly while keeping the students safe. If the government public sector can't do that then maybe a private sector company can.

  •  

    There are both good points and bad points of the right way of bringing in outside cleaning agencies to school and things can't all be about the unions all the time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2012 5:15 pm

Except the public sector can and does do it just fine. 440 wants to keep languishing on their chaise lounges eating grapes at the expense of its least-paid union.

I think they are counting on the PFT not to stand with 1201. I will. Will you?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2012 1:02 pm

This is laughable. Every attempt at doing anything to make things more efficient is fought tooth and nail by the unions. It appears these union people do not believe in capitalism at all. But if everyone worked for the government, who would pay the taxes for all these government workers' lavish pay and benefits packages? Greece had half their population work for the government and we see how that turned out. Actually North Korea would be a better example. Everyone there works for the government. How about it?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2012 7:38 pm

How about using the example of China. I love people that talk about Capitalism as though they know the first thing about it. Another middle class person on the notebook pretending as though Capitalism has benefited them. What a joke! Capitalism is the excuse they use for the auto workers, teachers, etc. but when it is AIG, Bank of America, etc. it is binding contracts that can't be broken. Concessions for the middle class and handouts for the rich. What a joke. And my bigger question is what type of people are you going to get to teach your children when the pay scale continues to fall? Finland, China, Japan, teachers are well respected and well paid professionals and they all kick our butt in education! Why don't we model off of what works instead of listening to clown shoes who have no resume for success. Also do you have children Mr. Capitalism and if so do you care about who is taking care of them during the day? Do you really want someone making 25,000 dollars a year taking care of your children's instruction? The rich and the wealthy both know to spend the money on education. It returns huge dividends. You don't have to tell me from what status you are. It is clear as day. Your ignorance on Wealth, Capitalism, and Education do all of the talking for you. So when you go to your private sector job which pays less than mine take time to reflect and ask yourself "Are you jealous of the these public sector positions that you could not obtain or are you just miserable with your life?" Sad buddy because at the end of the day we need everyone on board to dissolve the lies that are being orchestrated at the top in every sector. Unite do not divide! The majority of the rich thank you for such ignorance!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2012 6:29 pm

LOL! You're using China as a model we should follow? The average wage there is $2 an hour. If you hate capitalism so much, why don't you move to communist China and get a job there teaching? Then, when you're not paid enough, which you can never be because you're union, you can go out in the streets and protest and practice your freedom of speech. Oh, wait. They don't heve freedom of speech there, do they?

As for your pay, expect more concessions because over $200 Milion more needs to be cut next year. If you don't like it, go to China.

Submitted by tom-104 on February 24, 2012 6:19 pm

China has been capitalist for a very long time. There is no social equality which is what socialism means. They just use the language of socialism to cover that the capitalist nature of their system. You are right about there government being repressive and they cannot have free unions, but that is to keep the ruling elite in power.

Submitted by anonymous. (not verified) on February 23, 2012 8:58 pm

North Korea sounds like a great destination for you, bye, bye.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2012 11:22 pm

http://www.cnbc.com/id/46503039

Submitted by Base to brain (not verified) on February 23, 2012 2:14 pm

Simplicity the act of doing something with ease. Seems like no one remembers how goverment work forces upheld your freedoms when the world was at our throats .A simple act of patriatism .Now it seems that people think all goverment work is a dirty word,.they say give there jobs to private interest who can do a better job . Private interest are money driven concerns with no overveiw for the common good only cash and carry away is there motto. If you don't beleive me take ten dollars and go to the store see how much you can buy . I'm not offering a perfect solution but give us some credit for the work 91% of your goverment work force does at a lower pay scale than outside con tractors. Remember if they brake us today you will be on there cutting block tommorow were will they have enough .

Submitted by Haylee Erickson (not verified) on February 23, 2012 4:45 pm

That's the best way to do it, subcontract it. You will still run into problems, but it will be more affordable and won't be Newts route.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2012 6:30 pm

I have been working for the School District for over 20 years. I have seen people go out sick over and over again for years at a time and get paid only to come back and go out sick again. SDP does nothing about it. Management is the problem. If I have a bad worker, I can't do anything about it. They linger for years. Teachers say your workers are not doing a good job but when half the staff is out sick all the time, they are never replaced. When a teacher is out they get a substitute, School police, substitute, Food service worker, substitute. When a custodial worker is out, nothing. The good workers are forced to do extra work all the time with no replacements. Management does nothing. They want u to fail so at the next contract they can throw it up in your face. If they want to outsource something, it should be management. In the real world, if u have a bad worker they get fired,

Submitted by anonymous. (not verified) on February 23, 2012 8:43 pm

Unions don't protect bad workers--it's just not true. Unions should and do protect sick workers. God Bless Unions.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 23, 2012 10:20 pm

AMEN!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2012 5:06 pm

I see it too. Our building staff now have 2 custodial workers for more than 4 schools in one building. They do a great job and never complain, and our students are very destructive. They know they are laid off by the end of the year, yet they still come early and stay late to make sure everything is safe for the students.

I have also had people tell me they were building staff 10 years ago, got "hurt," still get paid, and have no interest in going back to work, ever, even though they have been completely fit and healthy at least 9 of the 10 years they've been collecting on the SDP.

If we got all the injured employees getting paid who AREN'T actually injured back to work, there wouldn't be a shortage anywhere. It isn't the union protecting these leeches, it is the ambulance chasing lawyers in Philadelphia and the fact that so many don't have any work ethic or sense of honesty that would prevent them from doing this. The SDP needs to get the guts to go after these people.

It hurts the good 1201 employees who come to work and aren't running a scam, and it hurts people who actually get seriously injured and deserve the disability. How much money are we wasting? I wouldn't be surprised if this is a major reason the district is engaging in such aggressive union busting.

Submitted by Royj (not verified) on February 23, 2012 11:34 pm

Getting rid of unions doesn't benefit the economy. You're reducing the tax base & increasing the tax burden with unemployment compensation, public assistance, foreclosures, & bankruptcy. Corporate greed is the main cause of our problems
not unions. Whatever benefits unions workers have should be standard for all workers not the exception.

Submitted by Julio (not verified) on February 24, 2012 8:56 am

As a school district maintenance worker I would like to object to the privatizatio factor. Cleaning was privatizes in high school years ago and the results were similiar to what we had. Except that if a private cleaner was out a SUB was sent in. The csdp doesnt do that. They say veryone pick up the slack. But there are only so many hours in a day. And I'll bet there's no shortage of staff or cleaning supplies or toilet paper at 440 n broad st. In the schools people are being forced to bring in there own stuff. Nice way to live and work. As far as staff taking off, all of my members in local 1201-32BJ KNOW there are people who need to be fired. But the Union doesn't hire or fire. Tell management,i.e. 440, to do their job with the deadbeats. We don't want them either. Do your job 440 and get rid of the bums, at the worker AND management level. God knows there are plenty of both!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2012 9:19 am

cotractors are for profit,they will lowball thier bid and once they get in that is when they rape ,rob,and pilige the district,the distric tried this before and it did not work. it will end up costing more in the end. why dont they take a look at the fact that thier are schools with up to 6 principles,some who are retired and collecting 2 incomes why do we need so many in 1 building,

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2012 2:20 pm

PFT Members: Please be mindful of the things you say about the maintenance workers. They are our union brothers and sisters and the arrows you point their way, could just as easily be pointed back at us. They are fighting an impossible task with a lack of supplies, man power etc, just as we are!

Submitted by School Board Employee (not verified) on February 24, 2012 2:44 pm

Look, the majority of us Blue Collar workers make an honest days living and are not getting paid much. We are honest employees that make it a point to become an integral component of the school structure. Most of us are dependable and trust worthy that’s why we have been around so long. Sure there are some that slack and give us a bad name, and if the district went after them we would all be better off. However, to think that the solution is to up and destroy the lives of thousands of people just to have a contractor come in and probably screw things up is preposterous. These people have put years of thier lives into these buildings and deserve a bit more. The district has tried to do this several times before and paid more money for less quality work. please stand up for these people who have little left to hope for and only want to keep the job that puts food on their table.

Submitted by School Board Employee (not verified) on February 24, 2012 2:13 pm

Look, the majority of us Blue Collar workers make an honest days living and are not getting paid much. We are honest employees that make it a point to become an integral component of the school structure. Most of us are dependable and trust worthy that’s why we have been around so long. Sure there are some that slack and give us a bad name, and if the district went after them we would all be better off. However, to think that the solution is to up and destroy the lives of thousands of people just to have a contractor come in and probably screw things up is preposterous. These people have put years of thier lives into these buildings and deserve a bit more. The district has tried to do this several times before and paid more money for less quality work. please stand up for these people who have little left to hope for and only want to keep the job that puts food on their table.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2012 7:48 pm

I support you. Our custodial staff is amazing, and they go above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis.

Submitted by anonymous. (not verified) on February 24, 2012 5:30 pm

Another shot at the union and likely by people who belong to one. Bizarre stuff---Let's get it on.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 24, 2012 6:12 pm

Their right teacher's union, principal's union and any other union be ware, it is the dismantling of unions and wanting people to work for dam near free, no benefits anything to save a few bucks, It is really ridiculous. These people have children in our schools they have been employed in our schools for years, and they want to send them to the unemployment lines and hire some quickies off the street that won't know the protocol's of schools, the employees or the children. Outrageous!!! whats next

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2012 8:56 am

The truth is that most of the District's operating budgeted money is in teacher salaries. Hard fact but true. Eventually, the SRC will have to use its powers to cancel the contract to get the 260 Million they need. Mark my words. All of the discretionary and central office operating dollars are a very small percentage of the operating budget. Keep in mind there is a difference between operating, capital(bonds), and grant/categorical dollars. When they talk about education programs like CTE its all grant funds. Most supplemental Ed programs are funded by TItle 1 or some other grant. The deficit is in the operating dollars and you can't use grant or capital (bonds) to fix it: that's called supplanting. Even if you emptied all of 440, the salaries are not enough to even scratch the surface plus the District would still have to pay people unemployment benefits for a year and everyone there is not paid out of operating dollars. There are still mandatory pention payments and debt service payments on bonds that the District borrowed to build and fix up buildings. These are 30+ year bonds. The District is still paying for buildings built in the 80s. Let's not forget about all of the mandated costs imposed on the District by law like the fact that the charter school law says that the District MUST pay for transportation for charter school students. Even if you canceled every operating dollar contract for services, it still would not be enough. Unless they get an infusion of non-restricted money from the outside, they will have no choice but to cancel the union contracts and get the savings there. That's where the majority of the operating dollars are. You'll see.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2012 2:09 pm

So, there only option is to do something illegal.

The state cannot take over a school district and then refuse to fund it.

Submitted by anonymous. (not verified) on February 25, 2012 2:57 pm

Well, Corbett just did it. In fact, he's starving and strangling the real schools so he can give charters more money while also building 3 new prisons 2 of which are run by corporations.

Also, the whole Jerry Sandusky farce is being covered up too to protect Corbett who was the DA at the time. Hopefully, clear thinking people will stand up to this abuse.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2012 2:13 pm

Cancelling Collective Bargaining Agreements is not "illegal." The law gives them to power to do it since the District is "financially distressed." If you sit back and think about it, had all these bogus and dubious positions not been created and the stimulus monies been used responsibly, then the District would not be in the position they are in. What the hell is a Deputy or a Deputy Chief or a Parent Ombudsman or a Student Advisor? The list just goes on and on and on. On top of this, had the District not approved all these charter schools, which they are obligated for providing funding for (the per pupil expenditures), then there would be more money to work with.

Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on February 26, 2012 1:12 pm

My favorite is "Instructional Reform Facilitator" a.k.a. "Administrative Assistant". Like "Parent Ombudsman", it was just another way to cheat the kids out of their Title I money.

Right on: instead of converting to charters, "all" they had to do was "convert" to having quality principals in charge of the schools. This would have been the more direct and "to the point" path. But then there's no one willing to take this task seriously. (The regional Sup I went to with serious issues about my principal, could only tell me, "your school's losing enrollment, isn't it.." Why should she "rock the boat"? She had her retirement soon, and that guaranteed pension.) So sad.

The story behind the easy creation of charters is that up till Corbett took office, the PSD was being compensated for the students that it lost to the charters, so it didn't feel any financial strain for losing them; however, the facts in this explanation are a little unclear to me.

Ironically with the "Weighted Student Funding" that was incorrectly perceived as "Increased Student Funding", the PSD would have saved money in using "School Based" budgets. Individual schools would have had to have a minimum enrollment number per teacher "purchased". This would have gone against the "research based" best practice of lowering student to teacher ratios, but no one seemed to object to this likely outcome when the plan was in the first stages of implementation.

We are just waiting to see what Boston Consulting sees...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2012 4:51 pm

How come Ackerman has not been charged with gross misappropriation of funds?
Where did here million dollar buyout come from?

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on February 25, 2012 6:07 pm

All of the discretionary and central office operating dollars are a very small percentage of the operating budget.>

That may or may not be true. What is true is that before any cuts to personnel or supplies with which students personally interact, there are millions to be cut from discretionary and central office operating dollars.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2012 3:22 pm

so, what will happen to all the teachers in the Philadelphia School District? Will we have jobs, or will we be forced to work for less money and no benefits? They need to stop approving these charter schools.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2012 3:24 pm

How much less are teachers expected to work for? New teachers make far less than 50,000....already underpaid. Teachers are being treated so poorly. Education is going downhill big time!

Submitted by Teach (not verified) on February 25, 2012 6:22 pm

I'm a little confused.... thought we have 200 schools. Even if you count the Little Schoolhouses as separate buildings, how do you come up with 400?

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on February 25, 2012 7:27 pm

http://zoo.tl/iz31c

Dear Friends,
Cut and paste the above link and listen to Brian Jones.
The title of his talk is :

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Please stop what you are doing and watch this amazing film. All will make sense and you will be clear about what you need to do next.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 26, 2012 12:10 am

thanks for sharing...this video is brilliant! I wish all parents could see this video, and then they will understand that they are being sold on a false dream. We are giving up our freedom.

Submitted by Milsey (not verified) on February 26, 2012 12:11 am

Soon we'll have no white teachers left because they weren't "Afrocentric" enough. Now that is racism.

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Submitted by The Janitor (not verified) on March 3, 2012 10:20 pm

I have been a Building Engineer for 27 yrs. 18 yrs. of that was in one building.I am amazed how the SD thinks they could just send in a private co. First of all your going to need to hire a Bldg Eng. with a grade A Lic. to run the boilers for all 400 oh I mean 267 schools. Lets see what that will cost them alone without including the Cust Asst.,Cleaners, School bus drivers, Maintenance workers. This is a disgrace.There are plenty of six figure salaries in 440.As I understand it the SD is already in the hole for next fiscal yr for 350 million.

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