Philadelphia School Superintendent Tony Watlington Gets His $4.5 Billion Budget

Tony Watlington says he wants to use Chick-fil-A as a model for customer service in the district.

philadelphia school district superintendent tony watlington at an event with pennsylvania governor josh shapiro

Philadelphia School District superintendent Tony Watlington at a March event with Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro (photo courtesy of the Office of Governor Josh Shapiro)

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Philadelphia School Superintendent Tony Watlington Gets His $4.5 Billion Budget

On Thursday, Philadelphia School District Superintendent Tony Watlington presented his lofty five-year plan to the Philadelphia school board. That plan includes the much-discussed pilot program for year-round schooling; a push to improve communication with parents, with Watlington using Chick-fil-A’s customer service level as a goal, according to this Inquirer report; and, well, lots and lots of other initiatives. Dozens of them. You can just read the whole plan for yourself right here.

Originally, the board was expected to vote on Watlington’s plan on Thursday. But they pushed that vote until June 1st, giving the public a bit more time to digest and weigh in on said plan.

While the board pushed back its vote on the five-year plan, the board did approve Watlington’s new $4.5 billion budget, with a good chunk of that money going to improve safety at Philadelphia schools and fix physical problems with school buildings.

One former Philadelphia teacher claims she tried to get into Thursday’s meeting but ran into problems:

She eventually got inside. As did others, some of whom expressed significant concerns about Watlington and the district.

Mastriano Won’t Run

I, for one, am very pleased that I won’t have to write about Doug Mastriano’s campaign for United States Senate now that he’s announced he won’t run.

Welcome Back, Spraygrounds

With temperatures expected to hit or exceed 90 degrees in the coming week, it’s good to hear that Philadelphia’s spraygrounds reopen on Saturday for the season. The spraygrounds are open from noon to 5 p.m. on weekends and 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on weekdays. Find a sprayground near you using this handy map.

By the Numbers

$100,000: Value of merchandise two Philadelphia men are suspected of stealing from stores at the King of Prussia mall.

$150: Highest-priced seasonal beach tags at the Jersey Shore. Eh, just go to Atlantic City. No beach tags.

4: Metropolitan areas in the United States where buying a home is still cheaper than renting, Philly being one of those metro areas. The others? Cleveland, Houston and Detroit.

And from the So-Close Sports Desk …

The Phils journeyed south last night to play the Braves, with Aaron Nola opening the four-game series, up against Dylan Dodd. A two-run homer by Austin Riley put the Braves up 2-0 by the close of the first, but Alec Bohm matched that in the second, and a Brandon Marsh single and Bryson Stott double made it 3-2. Alas, a Marcell Ozuna singleton in the bottom half tied it up again. So it was going to be that sort of night. Bohm came up again in the third with the bases loaded but ground into a double play. The Braves tacked on one more in the bottom of the fourth; Bryce Harper whacked one back in the fifth.

And damn if Riley didn’t send another one sailing to left-center: 5-4. Factoid: Distance on the first was 459 feet; the second went 458. Consistency!

Nola made it through the sixth with no further damage. A.J. Minter came in to pitch against the Phils in the seventh and gave up two-out singles to Harper and Nick Castellanos and a two-run-scoring double by Kyle Schwarber. Wait — was Castellanos out at home? Close call, reviewed by the officials, and the safe call was overturned. You decide:

Tied again.

Seranthony came in for Nola for the seventh and got three straight outs. In the eighth, it was Gregory Soto’s turn. He gave up a single and then a (luckily) Ozuna ground-rule double that would have scored the run otherwise. That brought up Orlando Arcia and a base on balls, and a Travis d’Arnaud single that scored two runs. An Arcuna single loaded the bases again with one out. The Atlanta crowd was gettin’ rowdy. And a sac fly: 8-5. Hello, Jeff Hoffman! The relief reliever got the last out. And in the ninth? The Phils went down one-two-three. Oh well. At least it was an interesting game.

Weekend lineup! More Braves in the future, tonight at 7:20, Saturday at 4:10 and Sunday at 7:10. In other sports, the Union face off Saturday against New York City at Citi Field starting at 7:30. Doop!

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.