Budget cuts in high low poverty neighborhoods are not an issue from the past. A school in Philadelphia is struggling to stay opened and the district is currently experiencing $304 million budget deficit. The district is facing severe cuts in staff as 20 percent of the staff was laid off and more than 3,800 employees will not have a job next week.
For the past month, state lawmakers have been working with Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr. and the state’s governor Tom Corbett on a deal to provide an additional $100 million in funding for the city’s schools. However, no recent progress on the talks has been reported.
Mike Mullins is now on the 8th day of a hunger strike to protest measures that did away with extracurricular activities like music and art classes as well as the firing of support staff like student counselors, all to keep schools open next year.
There is not enough intervention to raise money for this school district. Although the city has promised an additional $74 million in funding raised via a new tobacco tax and by collecting overdue city taxes, district officials are not optimistic. The new tax will require approval from the majority-Republican state legislature.