Avvonya Payne was so determined this summer to get her daughter Alicia into a good, safe school that if need be, "I'd have sold my house and gone into a shelter."
But she was confident that wouldn't be necessary when neighborhood recruiters from Simon Gratz High School spotted Alicia on the street and convinced her this was where she belonged. "Mom," she said when she got home. "This is the school I want to go to."
A new acting superintendent.
Hundreds fewer teachers and support staff.
And perhaps most challenging of all, roughly $320 million less in the District's coffers, which means cuts in everything from new textbooks to school nurses.
Such are the realities facing a District that enters the new school year needing to do more with less.