Protesters, Teachers Block Broad Street in Front of Philly School District

Thousands of people demanding better for Philadelphia schools and teachers protested outside the Philadelphia School District Building, blocking traffic along Broad Street Thursday afternoon.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers organized the rally out front of the district headquarters at Broad Street and Spring Garden Street in the Spring Garden section of the city that began hours before the School Reform Commission was set to meet for the first time since it held a surprise meeting where the SRC canceled teacher contracts over an ongoing dispute about health care.

The teachers union, with about 15,000 members, has accused the state-led SRC of ratcheting up its "war on teachers."

An NBC10 crew on the scene reported hundreds of protesters marching long Broad Street causing traffic issues in the area. The protesters remained peaceful throughout the demonstration ahead of the 5:30 p.m. meeting.

Once Thursday's SRC meeting began, the SRC opened it for public comment. In total, 60 people signed up -- meaning that public comments could last up to three hours.

As those people spoke inside, protesters continued to chant, "hey-hey, ho-ho, the SRC has got to go!"

The school district has dealt with a budget deficit for years that has led to layoffs, school closings and new taxes.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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