The Philadelphia School District is in major chaos.
It is one of the largest districts in the country, and is also one of the most bankrupt. Currently, it is facing a $304 million deficit and 20 percent of the total staff has been laid off. That’s about 3,800 employees and includes assistant principals, secretaries, and teachers.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan has called the situation an “educational crisis.” He intervened last week after advocates, including American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, launched a campaign to get the highest education official in the United States involved in the situation that affects about 204,000 traditional and charter school students in the district.
“There's no excuse for a public school system anywhere in the U.S. to be in this situation in the 21st century,” Duncan said in a statement last Wednesday. “Philadelphia's children didn't create these problems or ask for them.”