Philadelphia school leaders to vote on 'doomsday' budget

Friday, May 31, 2013

Education officials plan to vote on what critics are calling a "doomsday" budget, an austere proposal that would force city schools to open next fall without resources like assistant principals, guidance counselors, athletics and music programs.

Thousands of layoff notices could go out in early June if the School Reform Commission Thursday approves a spending plan of nearly $2.7 billion, which includes drastic cuts in order to close a $304 million deficit.

Teachers, parents, students and community members plan to mount a huge protest outside district headquarters before the commission's meeting. Meanwhile, voices from the business and philanthropic sectors called on residents of the surrounding suburban counties to support public education in Philadelphia.

"If we let the education of our young people go down the drain, we're in big, big trouble," Stoneleigh Foundation Chairman Carole Haas Gravagno said at a news conference Wednesday. "It's going to affect the businesses, it's going to affect the cultural life of this city."

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