On Thursday, March 2nd, Philadelphia officials voted to close 23 schools in the Philadelphia School District. These schools make up 10% of the districts schools so the closing causes devastation across the city. The vote to close the schools was taken in attempts to erase the districts huge budget deficit and to reduce the amount of schools that are underused. The meeting on the vote took three hours of heated discussion and argument while 500 protesters stood outside the building. Despite the large amounts of opposition, the district could not afford to keep these schools that are underused open, especially because the closings will erase $1.35billion from the budget deficit over the next 5 years.
George Davis Greene is a co-teacher in Social Studies and English classes at University City, one of the schools set to close. He believes that the shutting down of his particular building is a good idea for the school district because it is definitely underutilized. Much of the building is unused and it costs the school district unneeded money. The students will get to choose from 4 to 5 different schools, but it is definitely a pain for students who expected to graduate at their particular school and now may have to leave friends and start anew. In some instances, in order to get to their new schools, students will have to travel through different neighborhoods where gangs would be watching out for strangers on their turf to beat up or even shoot at students. Some students from University City were so passionate about their school that they attended many of the meetings about the schools closings, speaking eloquently about why their school should remain open. Though they were noted for their efforts the school is still due to close. Teachers will be able to move to different schools, but other workers at the schools will lose their jobs.
Though the closing of the schools may be the wisest economic decision for the school district,it will cause unrest for students and teachers throughout the school district by causing change. Even schools that are not closing will be affected by the new students from the closed schools crowding schools district wide.