Schoolhouse Beat

Philadelphia reform commission approves "doomsday" budget

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission has approved a $2.4 billion budget with program cuts that Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. says will be catastrophic for the city's schools. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that unless funds are found to cover a projected $304 million shortfall, the 2013-14 school year will begin without new books, paper, clubs, counselors, librarians, assistant principals, or secretaries. Athletics, art, and music would be gone. There could be 3,000 layoffs, including some teachers. Class sizes would be larger, and schools would have no aides to help manage them or support staff to monitor lunchrooms and playgrounds.

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