Philly Officials Make Case for More School Funding
A parade of Philadelphia officials made the case for greater state education funding Tuesday, the first of two days of hearings held here by the state’s Basic Education Funding Commission. “What our children experience in Philadelphia schools would never be tolerated in other districts,” one principal told the commission.
The Notebook reports that SRC Chair Bill Green led the way:
“Philadelphia schools are now a strong investment,” said School Reform Commission Chair Bill Green to the members of the Basic Education Funding Commission, which has been holding hearings around the state. He said that several years ago, while on City Council, he didn’t believe this, but is now confident in the leadership of Superintendent William Hite.
“Under Dr. Hite, the District has navigated a difficult course to financial stability. …Today I can confidently tell you that further funding won’t go to bureaucracy but will be used instead to improve student learning.”
Other testimony came from Mayor Nutter, Superintendent William Hite, several principals and experts on education, including Temple President Neil Theobald.
The commission also heard slightly different testimony from Mark Gleason of the Philadelphia School Partnership, which favors charter schools as part of a broader school reform effort.
“There is ample evidence, some of it reviewed by this commission, that funding alone is not a determinant of educational outcomes,” he said. “It is true that—where we see inequities in educational opportunity—we should endeavor to use funding as a tool to increase equity. But it is not the only tool we should use, nor does the evidence show it to be the most powerful tool.”
The commission holds a second day of hearings today — with the last-minute inclusion of public testimony — at 10 a.m. in the Mayor’s Reception Room at City Hall.