Philadelphia, June 7, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the Philadelphia School District to lay off 3,783 teachers and support staff:
For months, the School District has been open and honest about the impact that its $304 million budget shortfall would have on District students and employees and the quality of education that it would be able to provide. Today is the reality of that disastrous, bare-bones budget.
The layoffs of the 3,783 teachers and school support staff is devastating not only to those individuals who will lose their jobs but to the thousands of students and parents and the school communities that will suffer because of these regrettable personnel reductions and other budgetary cuts.
This has been an exceptionally difficult process for Dr. Hite, the School District leadership and the School Reform Commission. No one wants to close schools, lay off teachers or staff but the current leadership is determined to make the District’s fiscal health, immediate and long-term, a top priority.
To help the children of this City, there has to be a real commitment from the Commonwealth, City and the unions to find critical funding for Philadelphia public education. I have proposed a revenue package that would provide the District with $95 million in vital funding. Now, we need action in Harrisburg and City Council to pass that legislation. We need Harrisburg to do its share and support the School District. And, we need the education unions to accept critical economic and work rule changes.
If we come together, now, we may be able to stem the tide on these grievous cuts and give our young people the kind of education they deserve.