The End of Public Education in Philadelphia

Courtney Williams's picture
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

If the School Reform Commission and Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen have their way, we may witness the end of public education in Philadelphia.

A five-year plan proposed by Philadelphia School District officials calls for the overhaul of virtually every element of the system — from finances to academics to central management. These drastic changes suggest to many that the district is intent on expediting the privatization of its schools, despite its promises to stay the traditional route and invest in neighborhoods and communities.


This plan mandates:

  • The closing of 64 neighborhood schools in the next five years.
  • The movement of thousands of students from traditional neighborhood schools to charter schools with 40 percent of all Philadelphia students attending charters by 2017.
    “Modernizing” custodial, transportation and maintenance services by threatening district workers with layoffs if they don’t agree to accept LESS than what private companies, already in negotiations with district, are asking.

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