Philly Schools Open Amid Uncertainty

Monday, Sep 9, 2013  |  Updated 12:10 PM EDT
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Mayor Michael Nutter and Superintendent Dr. William Hite kicked off the school year at Beeber Middle School in Overbrook.

NBC10, Matt DeLucia

Mayor Michael Nutter and Superintendent Dr. William Hite kicked off the school year at Beeber Middle School in Overbrook.

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The hustle and bustle of the school year officially gets underway today for thousands of students in the city even as a budget crisis continues.

Parents say severe staffing cuts in the Philadelphia schools have created an aura of uncertainty around the new academic year.

About 190,000 students (including charter school students) head back to class Monday morning. Officials contend the district is prepared despite the major budget reductions.

The district laid off nearly 3,800 workers over the summer to close a $304 million deficit. About 1,650 employees have since been rehired with $83 million in restored funds.

Still, parents say they're worried children won't be safe or get the academic and social services they need. Plus, many students are adjusting to different buildings due to two dozen school closures.

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Education advocates are urging parents to document any problems in official complaints.

The district hopes to recover additional money through ongoing negotiations with city, state and union leaders.

 


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