Philly Schools Shedding Students Faster Than Expected

Teaching staffs will be reduced accordingly.

Philly classrooms aren't quite this empty this fall, but they're shedding students more quickly than expected.

Philly classrooms aren’t quite this empty this fall, but they’re shedding students more quickly than expected.

Philadelphia officials expected there would be fewer students in public schools this fall — but even then they underestimated just how quickly the district would shed students.

“Total enrollment now tallies just under 128,000 instead of the 130,000 officials had been projecting,” The Notebook reports. “That’s a loss of 4,300 students compared to last school year.”

As a result, The Notebook reports, the district is cutting 24 teaching positions immediately — just days after the School Reform Commission canceled its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and imposed terms that requires teachers to contribute payments for their own health care plans.

In fact, the directive to cut staff came as part of a memo notifying district principals they have extra money to spend in their schools this year as a result of that move.

According to the document, the Philadelphia High School for Girls is particularly hard-hit, slated to lose 5.6 teachers  – while getting an extra $103,700 through the health care savings. That is barely enough to keep one of those teachers.

Some schools, though, will be gaining staff and also getting extra funds, which is being distributed based on enrollment and need.

In all, 30 schools will be gaining two or more teaching positions. Counting Girls, 34 schools will lose two or more positions.

Principals were given to the end of the day Thursday to justify their staffing levels.