English: South Philadelphia High School, taken from Broad Street, with snow in the foreground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced Friday that the School District had begun mailing layoff notices to 3,783 employees, informing them they will lose their jobs July 1 because of the district’s financial crisis.
The list includes 676 teachers, 283 counselors, 127 assistant principals, and 1,202 noontime aides.
“These … employees are more than numbers: these are people — professionals — who play important roles in the lives of thousands of students throughout our city,” Hite said at a news briefing.
He called the layoffs “nothing less than catastrophic for our schools and students.
Harrisburg has lost a few residents since the beginning of the decade, according to new 2012 population estimates released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.
It’s hardly a mass exodus by any means, but Pennsylvania’s capital city has lost 249 residents since 2010, according to census estimates. In 2012, Harrisburg’s city population stood at 49,279, a decline of 0.5 percent.
Harrisburg has faced no shortage of challenges.
The city’s financial calamities have drawn national attention. Harrisburg’s debt has soared to $370 million, due to costly repairs to the city’s incinerator. The state-appointed receiver, Maj. Gen. William Lynch, is negotiating agreements to try and resolve the city’s financial crisis.
Harrisburg City Council rejected the Act 47 plan, and now they have rejected Mayor Linda Thompson’s plan one last time. Critics say the mayor’s plan is basically the same plan as presented by the Act 47 team.
Rejecting the mayoral plan means the original plan will end up being enforced by the Commonwealth. Council is delaying the inevitable. However, denying the plan gives naysayers the ability to distance themselves from the plan should it go badly. This amounts to a CYA move for the no votes on council and the ability to come back and say “I told you so!” later.
Governor Corbett says he will sign legislation to appoint an oversight board to enforce the state recommended financial recovery plan. Harrisburg is $310 million dollars in debt from a failed retrofit of the city’s incinerator.