Prepare for Protests: School Closure Vote Takes Place Today

Today at 5:30 p.m., the School Reform Commission will vote on whether or not to go ahead with 27 proposed school closures will. (Considering Superintendent William Hite’s stated support for the plan, there doesn’t seem to be much suspense here.) Protests outside PPSD headquarters on North Broad will occur. And whatever the SRC’s decision, there will be devastated parents and children. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten will be in town to join the protests.

“This is crisis time for us,” the superintendent [William Hite] said. The school-closing plan – which would net about $24 million in savings next year, not counting transition costs – saves only about 1 percent of the district’s total budget, he said, but is just one of many changes that must happen to keep the system afloat. “If all those things don’t happen, we will have much bigger problems. We’re talking about being in a place where we can’t pay people or we can’t open next fall,” Hite said.

The SRC will be voting to implement the plan in its entirety; short of proposing amended plans, it cannot pick and choose which schools to leave open and which to close. 2 more schools will be voted on later this year. [Inquirer]