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Superintendent and SRC chair's testimonies from budget hearings

At City Council budget hearings on Monday, Superintendent William Hite and School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos testified to the District's "dire" state of financial affairs. Seeking an additional $60 million from the city to help plug a huge budget shortfall, Hite and Ramos made their case by describing the plight of a school system attempting to succeed amid ever-worsening conditions. 

You can read the full text of their testimonies below.

Testimony of SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos

Testimony of Superintendent William Hite

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Comments (11)

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on May 1, 2013 4:10 pm
PLEASE----------------Don't give an ounce of credibility to anything they say. They have a different agenda and it has nothing to do with "The Public Good." It does, however, have everything to do with "Their Personal Good." Of course, The City Council knows that too. The big question is, Are they in on the take?
Submitted by Education Grad ... on May 1, 2013 7:28 pm
Joe, An anonymous poster, a veteran SDP teacher, posted on "Despite parent, teacher pleas, City Council still not moved on District budget woes" by Bill Hangley Jr. that she/he is happy to see City Council holding the SRC's feet to the fire. I agree with this viewpoint. My only issue with Council's reaction to pleas for more money is that their responses are too calm and apathetic. The responses of Darrell Clarke show a lot of indifference to the plight of the District, its students, and its employees. I would like to see a bolder response from Council to the tune of: Go talk to the Legislature and the Governor FIRST about more money. Come talk to us AFTER the Commonwealth they've agreed to properly fund the School District of Philadelphia. In other words, Get your facts straight and then come back and see me. Education Grad Student
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on May 1, 2013 7:30 pm
I'm fine with your response. My point is that Ramos and Hite already know the real deal and are not serious persons. Of course, the SRC should be screaming bloody murder at Corbett and if they were sincere they would be. Lies, lies and more lies just so the corporations can more make money off the poor. Using their puppets and torpedoes like Nutter and Hite are par for the course.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on May 1, 2013 8:21 pm
Regarding "screaming bloody murder," therein lies the difference between the SRC and Dr. Hite and the higher-ups of the Chester-Upland School District. CUSD has sued the state while the SRC and Dr. Hite are participating in the demise of the District. The big difference is that the SDP is much larger than the CUSD---much more of a kill for those who want to slay public education. EGS
Submitted by Urban Educator (not verified) on May 1, 2013 8:56 pm
I too felt that council members were way too apathetic and eagerly wanted to pass the buck to the state. They all should be ashamed for their indifference to the plight of Philadelphia school children. Mike Nutter is such a disgrace. How does he rationalize having money for CCP but not the SDP? Our children will never make it to CCP or any college if this collapse is allowed to occur. Every elected official in Philadelphia should be disgraced to have this happen to public education under their watch.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on May 1, 2013 10:26 pm
I have been thoroughly disappointed with Mayor Nutter's handling of education issues. I understand the need to maintain the population growth for the City, as this is a positive trend in the long-term for the District. Thus, I understand the reluctance to raise property taxes. However, there are other taxes, such as "sin" taxes, that warrant serious attention given the District's situation. Neither the Mayor nor Dr. Hite have made any serious attempts to work with the powers that be in Harrisburg who are the most at fault for the District's predicament. The Mayor should be contacting every one of Philadelphia's representatives and senators in Harrisburg and convene a meeting about how best to advocate for more money. Make waves about what the proposed budget means for schools. Make it onto the national news. For the love of God, DO SOMETHING! City Council needs to join the advocacy effort for more money. However, Philadelphia does exert a high tax effort to fund its schools, especially in comparison to wealthier districts. Again, City Council did not make this mess, the Commonwealth has. Yes, City Council should approve more money, but it's appropriate for them to withhold funding until the Commonwealth funds its fair share. EGS
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on May 2, 2013 7:44 am
EGS----Nutter IS doing something. He's following his script, what more do you want ?Hite is also doing his as is Pedro. Don't be so greedy !! They're doing their jobs very well. The PEOPLE are going to have to stop this because mostly, we are in this alone.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 2, 2013 8:34 am
I agree wth both of you (Joe and EGS) however if Nutter wants a better population and tax base (families coming to the city) he ought to realize that a decent public school system is a draw. He got all comfy with his position and Joe is right, he's going right aLong with the script (whic btw is intended for more at risk communities). Perhaps if his hero ,the President, was less elite and more grounded on the subject he would be too, so THE PEOPLE have to hold them accountable.
Submitted by Eileen Duffey (not verified) on May 1, 2013 8:39 pm
Paul, Any chance we can get a copy (and post) the comments of 10 yr old Guillermo Santos, from Moffitt School-to City Council on Tuesday morning? He spoke so pointedly, so eloquently, so from the heart, that he swept me away. I have been approaching despair over the state of our district. Hearing Guillermo reminded me why the fight for public schools is worth it. I wish the entire city could just stop for a minute and listen to this child. Perhaps his mother will read this and share it with notebook readers.
Submitted by tom-104 on May 1, 2013 10:12 pm
I wonder if there is video of the City Council hearings. I sure would like to see his testimony, not just read it. I hear he was outstanding.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 2, 2013 9:46 am
Way back when the state took over, they said they could do it better. Well? It's the state's problem...

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