Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

48 Philly schools to stay open nights/weekends

UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.

48 Philly schools to stay open nights/weekends

UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.

Mayor Nutter has formally announced the deal, which will keep 48 schools open on nights and weekends through March 17, allowing all programs currently scheduled to go forward, my colleague Troy Graham (no relation, all you conspiracy theorists) reports. 

The city will contribute $175,000 toward the district's costs for keeping these schools open.

The schools are: Baldi, Comly, Decatur, Disston, Dobson, Edison, H.R. Edmunds, Farrell, Fels, Fitzpatrick, Fox Chase, Anne Frank, Frankford, Greenfield, Hackett, Hancock, Heston, Hill, Holme, W.D. Kelley, LaBrum, Lamberton, Lincoln, Loesche, Longstreth, Thurgood Marshall, Mayfair, McCloskey, Meehan, Moffett, Northeast, Overbrook, Pollock, Rhawnhurst, Roxborough, Saul, Sayre, Shawmont, Solis-Cohen, South Philadelphia, Sullivan, Taggart, University City, Washington, Webster, West Philadelphia (new building), Wister.

UPDATE, 10:30 a.m.

The Mayor will announce the deal to keep city schools open on nights and weekends through the spring at a 12:30 press conference today.

EARLIER

A source said Thursday morning that a deal to keep Philadelphia School District buildings open on nights and weekends through the spring has been hammered out and will be announced by Mayor Nutter sometime later today.

Schools, which were to close one hour earlier during the week and completely on the weekends, will now be open through 9 p.m. weeknights and as needed on weekends through March 17 for city basketball programs and through April for a handful of drama programs.  The closures mainly affected city Department of Recreation programs; the district had said it would save $2.8 million by shutting the buildings down.  Thousands of basketball, drama and dance programs would have been left with no place to finish their long-planned seasons.  What will happen in the long-term is not clear; the deal just gets the programs through their seasons.

The sticking point was the actual cost of keeping the buildings open, the source said.  The city was willing to pay its costs, but felt the $2.8 million figure was inflated.  The actual figure the city will pay is not clear, but the source said the deal was completed last night and the mayor was "hands-on" in closing the deal.

District officials and city officials had acknowledged earlier this week that the city and district were in talks to reach some sort of agreement. Councilman Bobby Henon had posted news that the deal was done earlier this week, but apparently that was a bit premature and more details needed to be finalized. Henon had said schools would still close at 8 p.m.; the final deal has them closing at 9. 

The district still faces a budget gap of somewhere around $30 million it must close by June.

About this blog

Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham writes the Philly School Files blog, where she covers education in Philadelphia, both in and out of the classroom.

During the school year, you’ll frequently find her hosting live chats about the district on Philly.com.

Please do pass along the scoop about what’s going on at your Philadelphia public school; Kristen welcomes tips, story ideas and witty banter.


Kristen Graham Inquirer Staff Writer
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