Menu
Notebook-event
Paid Advertisement
view counter

February 2013 Vol. 20. No. 4 Focus on A Downsizing District

Theme articles

Closure savings are labor savings

The District says shuttering 37 schools will lower expenses by $28 million annually. But in the short run there are “substantial” transition costs.

By by Bill Hangley, Jr. on Feb 4, 2013 03:21 PM

About the Author

Bill Hangley, Jr. is a regular freelance contributor to the Notebook.

Comments (24)

Submitted by rob (not verified) on February 4, 2013 2:35 pm
How on earth does the SDP not have statistics on how many children went to charter schools after their schools closed. At my school a lot of kids have said they will go to a charter and not the school that the SDP wants them to go to. I worry because I want to follow my students but if they dont go, they wont need teachers. (maybe that is part of the strategy) I believe this will be a huge financial issue and it is irresponsible for the district to think that a large proportion of kids won't transfer to charter schools
Submitted by tom-104 on February 4, 2013 2:50 pm
They DO want the students to be transferred to charter schools. That's been the method of privatization in NYC, Chicago, and Detroit. First they starve the public schools for years, pouring funds into charters, to get parents to transfer out of the neediest schools. Then they move on to the schools that are not as broken, which is the stage we are at, and say the students will have to walk up to a mile to school in dangerous neighborhoods or high school students must go into unsafe schools, and then charters are offered as an option. Children grow up fast. Who wouldn't put their child in a charter under these circumstances? It is a cynical use of children from low income families to promote a political agenda.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 4, 2013 7:59 pm
100% correct
Submitted by High School Teacher (not verified) on February 5, 2013 4:43 pm
Exactly right. Two options: 1. The SRC are idiots who don't know how to plan ahead and project accurate figures 2. The SRC is carrying out the agenda you described above and misleads the public by pretending to be idiots who don't know how to plan ahead and project accurate figures It's clear that Option 2 is the correct answer.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 6, 2013 5:14 pm
Assuming the charters will take any of the kids that are left in the public schools. The Renaissance schools that supposedly have a neighborhood catchment won't take kids they don't want. They get to say they are "full." It is obvious that schools that get to cherrypick their students will do better, but we're supposed to believe that they are high performing. They're not-- they're selective. Nobody would try to claim that CCP should be doing as well academically as UPenn.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 4, 2013 5:08 pm
This definitely is a cynical use of children's emotions to promote a political agenda. They talk about schools and children in the most negative, and careless manner. For instance, Filardo, "whoever that is," refers to the transition of children from closed schools as some type of collateral damage. "We don't know where they go, Catholic, Charter, Maybe they even move out of the district." Which, in essence, is what Nutter and the SRC wants to happen. That way, they get rid of a problem. This whole thing is about redevelopment and selling off property to the highest bidder. This is one more example of the "seat of your pants" move by the SRC to execute an action they "think" will save money. And in the end, as the article states, they don't really know how much they will save. In the end it will all be about labor costs.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on February 4, 2013 5:25 pm
May I ask a question or two of you, Mr. Kihn? Why can't we just have "Renaissance schools" operated by the School District of Philadelphia with our certified professional public employees, whereby you, Dr. Hite and the teachers decide what needs to be done to make those schools function as effective learning communities? Why do we have to have Renaissance charters in the first place?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 4, 2013 6:46 pm
I assume we have "Renaissance Charters" so Mastery, Aspira and Universal can have a "collection" of schools to justify their administrative office. Archie and Ackerman gave schools to Universal despite a lousy track record. (Remember, Universal lost Vare and was given it back.) Scott Gordon wants to run a school district - he has enough to schools to claim he heads a school district. Mastery certainly has enough central administration.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 4, 2013 9:42 pm
Ever hear of Pomise Academies? They don't work because they cost too much. Renaissance Charters are better run and much more efficient.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 5, 2013 7:10 am
Look up the data... Ren. Schools are not better run. They counsel out all the students with any kind of problems leaving behind a private school. Their tests scores are not higher and just recently the state revised the formula that decided which charters made AYP because it was flawed to inflate charter school numbers. The new results had charters drop state wide - almost 30%. No, they are not run better.
Submitted by High School Teacher (not verified) on February 5, 2013 4:19 pm
Now that we're coming to the end of the first semester, watch the tide of kids who were "counseled out" come back to the public schools. I had two transfer in this week.
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on February 5, 2013 8:29 am
Exactly what data are you referring to which would lead anyone to believe that? You obviously did not understand the question I asked and why I asked it. The question asks for deeper and more honest answers as to why our leaders are marching to the mantra of the agenda of privatization of the American schoolhouse -- for profit.
Submitted by Peg D (not verified) on February 4, 2013 6:47 pm
That's interesting. The report states they will save $600,000 in reduction of SCHOOL NURSES. Administration had repeated said there will be no more School Nurse Cuts.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 4, 2013 10:39 pm
Nothing they say can be believed. They'll just keep saying they don't have the money, and that will be their justification for everything. Thanks to the Notebook for this analysis.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 4, 2013 11:54 pm
Maybe they don't have enough money. Ever think of that?
Submitted by reformer (not verified) on February 5, 2013 4:38 am
oh no! that couldn't possibly be. these people want a bottomless trough from which to draw. they don't believe limits apply to them. it's like you're dealing with a child. only children grow up.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 6, 2013 12:37 pm
Hmmm, I guess they aren't telling the truth - but I'm sure that it's only in this instance (NOT)
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 5, 2013 5:29 am
And that in a nutshell is why City Council now pretends to care about closings. Of course labor costs are the biggest savings when you have work rules that specify job categories and staffing levels- these make low occupancy schools especially costly. Over the summer, as the district planned for these inevitable closings, council's biggest goal was making sure their $80k year bus-driver supporters in the SEIU were taken care of, threatening to withold essential funding otherwise. This is Philly city council's first priority always- protecting the number of overpaid patronage jobs for their sponsors. Parents, kids, and delivering education is always a second or third priority. This fact is also why we now have the SRC. That a criminal is in jail doesn't change the potential harm he can do to society. Likewise with city council and schools. The only difference between the criminal and city council is that the criminal has some hope of reforming himself and contributing to society when he gets out of jail.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 5, 2013 5:59 am
And that in a nutshell is why City Council now pretends to care about closings. Of course labor costs are the biggest savings when you have work rules that specify job categories and staffing levels- these make low occupancy schools especially costly. Over the summer, as the district planned for these inevitable closings, council's biggest goal was making sure their $80k year bus-driver supporters in the SEIU were taken care of, threatening to withold essential funding otherwise. This is Philly city council's first priority always- protecting the number of overpaid patronage jobs for their sponsors. Parents, kids, and delivering education is always a second or third priority. This fact is also why we now have the SRC. That a criminal is in jail doesn't change the potential harm he can do to society. Likewise with city council and schools. The only difference between the criminal and city council is that the criminal has some hope of reforming himself and contributing to society when he gets out of jail.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 5, 2013 5:20 am
And that in a nutshell is why City Council now pretends to care about closings. Of course labor costs are the biggest savings when you have work rules that specify job categories and staffing levels- these make low occupancy schools especially costly. Over the summer, as the district planned for these inevitable closings, council's biggest goal was making sure their $80k year bus-driver supporters in the SEIU were taken care of, threatening to withold essential funding otherwise. This is Philly city council's first priority always- protecting the number of overpaid patronage jobs for their sponsors. Parents, kids, and delivering education is always a second or third priority. This fact is also why we now have the SRC. That a criminal is in jail doesn't change the potential harm he can do to society. Likewise with city council and schools. The only difference between the criminal and city council is that the criminal has some hope of reforming himself and contributing to society when he gets out of jail.
Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on February 5, 2013 8:19 am
Sadly, labor cost savings are why many of the counter proposals will not "reach the same goal". You will not be able to have separate programs side-by-side cohabiting a building. Perhaps a compromise on the year's moratorium could be the sharing of administrative and teaching staff temporarily in multiple locations giving that extra time for the maintenance staff to face their likely layoffs and neighborhoods to develop better rescue plans?
Submitted by Psych (not verified) on February 6, 2013 10:19 pm
The other cost that the SDP is not considering is the retirement cost. If they do not plan on laying off any teachers, they are going to need to offer a retirement incentive. You can't close 37 schools and combine a handful of others and keep the same amount teachers that you have.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

By using this service you agree not to post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable. We reserve the right to delete or remove any material deemed to be in violation of this rule, and to ban anyone who violates this rule. Please see our "Terms of Usage" for more detail concerning your obligations as a user of this service. Reader comments are limited to 500 words. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

Table of Contents

Read the latest print issue

 

Philly Ed Feed

Stopping Summer Slide

 

Top

Public School Notebook

699 Ranstead St.
Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 839-0082
Fax: (215) 238-2300
notebook@thenotebook.org

© Copyright 2013 The Philadelphia Public School Notebook. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Usage and Privacy Policy