NBC10.com - Lu Ann Cahn
The Philadelphia Teacher's Union has launched a major tv ad campaign blaming the mayor for not getting enough school funding from Harrisburg. NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn gets reaction from Mayor Nutter's office.
With nearly broke Philadelphia schools set to open on schedule next month, the city’s public school teachers are launching a new ad campaign taking aim at Mayor Nutter.
The new ad, which is airing on several television stations, including NBC10, as well as print and radio, accuses Nutter of being too friendly with Governor Tom Corbett instead of fighting for more funding.
“Mayor Nutter, you promised to do right by my kids,” says the woman in the commercial. “But you sided with Governor Corbett. You’ve let us all down.”
For several months, the Philadelphia school district worked to close a $304 million deficit caused in part by rising labor costs, debt service and charter school growth.
The crisis began weeks ago when pink slips went out to 3,800 workers, leaving schools staffed only by principals and teachers _ no secretaries, counselors or cafeteria aides.
Officials also cut athletics, music and extracurricular activities, even as they pleaded for help by asking for $60 million from the city, $120 million from the state and $133 million in union givebacks.
Last week, Superintendent William Hite threatened to delay the Sept. 9 start of classes if local or state leaders did not promise $50 million by August 16. Without those funds, he said, "we cannot open functional schools, run them responsibly or provide a quality education to students.''