Will Philadelphia public schools open on time and will any teachers be laid off?
Those are the tough questions facing the cash-strapped school district as a major funding deadline approaches. Friday is a vital day for parents and students as school officials are expected to announce if the district will open on time on Sept. 8.
Superintendent William Hite will address the big questions during a press conference Friday morning at the Philadelphia School District headquarters at 10 a.m.
NBC10.com will carry the press conference LIVE on this page
In recent weeks, Hite has said that without millions of dollars more in the bank that he would be forced to begin laying off teachers while pushing back the start of school.
Last week, Gov. Tom Corbett advanced the district $265 million in hopes it would allow for schools to open on time without further cuts. But, as Hite pointed out at the time, a $2-per-pack cigarette tax is needed to close the $81-million gap that remains.
Pennsylvania lawmakers went on summer vacation without approving the city’s tax proposal.
The money mess leaves parents and kids in limbo.
“It’s always frustrating as a parent and as a teacher watching where it just seems to become about numbers all the time and you don’t put our childrens’ faces to the numbers as you cut, cut, cut,” said Philadelphia special-education teacher and school parent Nefertiti White.