El plan del Distrito Escolar de Filadelfia para sobrevivir sus aprietos fiscales es simple: menos tendrá que ser más.
Y aunque la propuesta de cerrar o reubicar 44 escuelas deja muy claro cómo el Distrito va a lograr el “menos” de la ecuación, lo que no ha explicado es cómo va a cumplir la promesa de “más”.
Estos son días que se han convertido en semanas de incertidumbre para cientos de maestros en las 44 escuelas que serán cerradas o reubicadas bajo el plan maestro de la Comisión para la Reforma Escolar.
¿Cerrarán su escuela?
¿Van a ser cesanteados?
¿A dónde irán?
These are days stretching into weeks of uncertainty for hundreds of teachers in the 44 schools slated to be shuttered or relocated under the Facilities Master Plan before the School Reform Commission.
Will their school be closed?
Will they be laid off?
Where will they land?
Philadelphia School District officials say that closing buildings will save them millions of dollars a year.
But a closer look at the numbers shows that the lion’s share of savings will come from eliminating jobs.
Officials have been adamant that their Facilities Master Plan, which would close 37 schools and relocate seven more, is a financial necessity that will ultimately save the District $28 million annually – but less in the first year.
“This is not unique to Philadelphia. This is happening in large, urban centers all over the country. These large, urban centers…can no longer sustain the type of physical inventory that is not in use.” – Superintendent William Hite
January 2011 – Data presented to the School Reform Commission show that the District has 70,000 empty seats, as determined by consultants at URS Corp. and DeJong-Richter. Excess capacity had been estimated at 45,000 in a previous study in 2009. Then-Deputy Superintendent Leroy Nunery says school closings, consolidations, and co-locations will be considered.
Like most of the public, I’ve been baffled by the District’s latest rationale for closing down an unprecedented number of schools in a single year. In observing the school hearings, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a quote by Maya Angelou: “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.”