City Controller: Staffing Shortage Could Cause Schools to Lose Funding

An audit claims that some Philly schools are short of staffing levels required to receive state money.
teacher vacancies

Photo | It’s Our City via Flickr / Creative Commons

Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz issued a warning on Wednesday that some Philly schools could lose funding because of staffing shortages.

First, some background: many schools in the Philadelphia School District receive funding through the state’s Title I grant, which goes toward institutions with high populations of students belonging to low-income families. 

Butkovitz released an audit claiming that 17 schools in Philadelphia lacked staffing levels required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in order to receive such funding. The city controller tested 23 schools in the district and found that 48 additional staff members were needed in order to secure Title I funding.

“The School District puts itself at risk for the possible loss of much needed educational dollars when it does not follow the guidelines,” Butkovitz said in a press release.  “The grant funding requirements are specific in that all schools receive comparable money for the number of students that it educates.”

 “It is essential that schools in some of the city’s high-poverty neighborhoods have the same educational opportunities as schools in other neighborhoods,” he added.

According to the audit, schools with the largest ratios of non-compliant staffing included: Frankford High School, Benjamin Franklin High School, Ethan Allen Elementary School, Bartram High School and Huey Elementary School.

The staffing shortage isn’t news for the district – last month, officials announced the launch of a 12-week, $160,000 hiring campaign aimed at recruiting 1,000 new teachers for the 2017-18 school year.

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