The other shoe has dropped: The School District issued layoff notices Friday to 76 employees in its central and regional offices, eliminating 137 jobs.
"The new round of layoffs will impact all central administrative offices, including academic and operational functions," said a District statement. The layoffs will save $23 million. Some departments were cut by 40 percent.
On the occasion of a 10-year retrospective of her work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2012, photographer Zoe Strauss said that she strives "to create an epic narrative that reflects the beauty and struggle of everyday life.”
Now she has set her sights on a project about the unprecedented mass school closings in Philadelphia -- nearly one in 10 of the city's District-run schools will be closed. She is calling her project the Philadelphia School Closings Photo Collective.
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Calling the development "nothing less than catastrophic," Superintendent William Hite announced Friday that layoff notices have been sent to 3,783 of the 19,530 District employees, from teachers to food service workers, from counselors to maintenance staff, from community liaisons to lab assistants.
The layoffs will take effect July 1.
"Every aspect of the District will feel the impact – schools, regional offices and central office – along with employees ranging from senior administrators to support staff," said Hite.
He said the workers "are more than numbers: These are people – professionals – who play important roles in the lives of thousands of students throughout our city. They often do jobs beyond their titles and employee classifications. They are teachers, counselors, friends, protectors, and mentors to the children of Philadelphia.
"Without them, our schools will be just empty shells."
“It’s not about the play. It’s about what happens to you when you write the play.”
Thelma Reese, then a teacher and educational psychologist, said she eventually had this “aha moment” about the inspiration of her friend Adele Magner that students — no matter how young, how poor, how jaded, how troubled, how bored — could transform their lives by writing plays.
Magner’s vision blossomed, with the help of Reese and others, when she founded Philadelphia Young Playwrights, which celebrated its 25th anniversary Tuesday night. Throughout its existence, the program has reached about 40,000 students, not to mention their teachers, teaching artists, and parents.
Another Philadelphia administrator has been disciplined for his role in Pennsylvania's widespread cheating scandal on state standardized tests.
Thomas Conway, a former assistant principal at Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter High School, has had his credentials suspended, according to the State Department of Education's website. Cited as the grounds for discipline: "Allegations that Educator violated the integrity and security of the statewide assessment by failing to follow proper procedures related to the handling and storage of secure documents, and by reviewing the assessment for purposes of creating an answer key."