Two years after Governor Tom Corbett’s initial budget cuts 23 of Philadelphia’s public schools closed their doors leaving students, parents and teachers to face the chaos of an over-burdened education system.
Earlier this month, many of those impacted by education budget cuts across Philadelphia rallied for what they say are impossible conditions.
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Since the cuts, more than 3,000 jobs have been lost from the fourth largest school district in the country, creating overwhelming and dangerous conditions in schools across Philadelphia. Cheryl Tobin, a teacher who attended the rally from Hamilton Disston Elementary School says her school does not even have access to drinking water.
“We don’t have a working order fountains right now in the school, we were supposed to get water delivered from the district for the rest of the school year everyday but that has never happened.”
The 2012 cuts have left schools to cope with a $269 million budget shortfall. Recently, administrators from the school district went to City Hall asking for more funds but it’s still unclear where the money will come from, or if it will come at all.
In order to combat the conditions they face, Philadelphia students are organizing to voice their concerns.
– Text and images by Meaghan Pogue and Mamaye Mesfin.