Deja vu. Not in a good way.

So, you’re a watcher of the Philadelphia School District, and you’re understandably upset over the $629 million in cuts in the current 2011-12 budget, including a loss of more than 3,000 jobs, 1,200 of them teaching positions.

Think we’re alone?  Think it couldn’t get any worse?

Look to the north, where Mayor Bloomberg has just proposed laying off 4,100 teachers from the New York City public schools, and losing an additional 2,000 through attrition.  One in 12 teachers in the country’s largest district would be cut. (My sympathies to you, new teachers or those graduating from schools of education this month.)

New York's is a familiar story - less state funding. Near-universal fear and horror. Speculation that this is a bluff, and that surely it won’t be quite that bad.

In Philadelphia, the School Reform Commission must adopt a budget on May 31. Expect a lot of intense lobbying, community organizing, and impassioned pleas for certain programs (full-day kindergarten, art, music, etc.) until then.  I'll be sure to keep you posted.

One related note: District officials were supposed to appear before City Council on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 10 and 11) to discuss the budget, but school officials asked for a postponement. Now, the hearing is set for Tuesday, May 24 and Wednesday, May 25. (After primary elections!)

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