The School District's projected shortfall for 2012-13 could go as high as $282 million, officials said Friday, adding that they are reluctant to borrow more than the $218 million they've already planned on -- but may have to.
"There's a deepening in the deficit we're projecting for this fiscal year," said School Reform Commissioner Feather Houstoun.
This is an edited transcript of Benjamin Herold's interview with William Hite.
Benjamin Herold: What impression did Philadelphia make on you during this process?
William Hite: I was surprised with the level of passion that was on display. … I was pleasantly surprised with the passion that was demonstrated by all the individuals there around making sure that there were quality schools in all of the neighborhoods, regardless of location of those neighborhoods, or historical experiences, or anything else. The fact that so many individuals wanted quality schools in their neighborhoods, that was impressive.
New Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite says that he will not reconsider the direction and reform strategies set forth by the School Reform Commission, maintaining that “some of those things have already left the station.”
At a time when public funding affecting many of the city’s youth is in jeopardy, the women of Impact100 Philadelphia have chosen to award their annual grants to two organizations serving Philadelphia children: After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP) and the Village of Arts and Humanities.
The two organizations accepted awards of $100,000 each in a ceremony June 26 in the Village’s Ile Ife Park.
The School Reform Commission brought closure Friday to two running controversies from this spring, formally granting a charter for Universal Companies to run Creighton Elementary as a Renaissance charter and accepting a proposal from Hope Charter High School to close in 2013.
The Reno Gazette-Journal is reporting that Pedro Martinez, a finalist for the superintendent position in Philadelphia, has been named superintendent in Washoe County School District in Nevada.
UPDATE: The Prince George's County Board of Education has issued a statement announcing that William Hite is departing.
UPDATE: The Reno Gazette-Journal updated its article to say that Martinez has accepted the position with the WCSD. The Clark County School District, where Martinez is now deputy superintendent, issued a press release congratulating him on his new position.
by Dale Mezzacappa, Benjamin Herold, and Katie McCabe
If hired as Philadelphia school superintendent, William R. Hite Jr. said, the first thing he would do is travel the city and listen; once, as the principal of a new middle school, he knocked on the doors of 660 of the incoming 800 students.
As he made the rounds in a day-long series of meetings Tuesday, Hite painted a picture of himself as an engaged and focused educator, which got a warm response from parents, teachers and community members.
Attending tonight’s public engagement forum to hear from superintendent candidate Pedro Martinez?
Here are links to previous reporting done on five important areas.
1. Education & experience
Throughout Monday and Tuesday the District is holding meetings between the two finalists to become superintendent of the Philadelphia schools and stakeholders. The public forums are being streamed online. Pedro Martinez is in town Monday and William Hite will meet with the public Tuesday.
Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission renewed all five charters up for consideration Friday, but not before a sometimes brusque debate among the commissioners about the growing cost to the District of expanding charter enrollment.
Friday’s renewals and modifications added more than 1,600 charter seats to the District at a projected cost of $40 million over five years. District officials were not immediately able to provide an overview of the total number of charter seats added during this year’s renewal and modification process or how much those new seats are projected to cost.
High-profile charters including Mastery-Pickett, KIPP West Philadelphia, and Boys' Latin were among those renewed on Friday.