When I was a child, the start of the school year was a time of giddy anticipation.
That was many years ago, before perpetual deficits and the slow erosion of public trust made books, and then students, and then dozens of underutilized schools disappear.
Sadly, the excitement that should accompany the start of a new school year in Philadelphia has been replaced with a nagging sense of anxiety. That’s especially true this year, because the state budget impasse has created a situation in which Philadelphia’s schools could be broke as early as mid-October, according to Philadelphia School Superintendent Dr. William Hite.
“Without monies coming from the state … we will have cash to operate and open schools, but at some point that runs out,” Hite told me in a radio interview.
“And that runs out because the [money] that we would normally get from the state between August and September is not coming. That means that the district has to run on its own cash flow—not just the district, charter schools—so this could impact all 203,000 children who are being educated in public schools here in Philadelphia.”
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