Saturday, September 5, 2015

Are things so bad in Harrisburg that the city might cut kindergarten?

Perhaps you've heard about the $4.5 million package Pa. is sending to Harrisburg to help it stave off a default on a major debt payment. That's a pretty sure sign times are tough in our capitol city. So is this:

Are things so bad in Harrisburg that the city might cut kindergarten?

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Perhaps you've heard about the $4.5 million package Pa. is sending to Harrisburg to help it stave off a default on a major debt payment. That's a pretty sure sign times are tough in our capitol city. So is this:

Faced with a $6.8 million gap, Harrisburg School District Chief Operating Offficer Shawn Farr has proposed a series of dramatic cuts in programs, including the elimination of all kindergarten and pre-k classes next year and eliminating all district sports teams at the end of the fall season.

Apparently Harrisburg had budgeted for $7.1 million from the federal school funding competition, but then got only $300,000.

We don't know how real a possibility it is that this will come to pass, but our understanding is that early childhood education has a really, really big impact on eventual outcomes for students and it's pretty sad that an idea like this is even being floated.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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