Controller: Philly schools lack adequate staffing, per state

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Some Philadelphia School District schools are understaffed and risk losing federal grant funding as a result, City Controller Alan Butkovitz found in an audit released Wednesday.


Schools that educate large numbers of students living in poverty – like those in the district – receive extra funding through a federal program known as Title I. To meet Title I requirements, schools must have adequate staff as defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Butkovitz’s office tested 23 schools for compliance. Seventeen of those lacked proper staffing.


The school district has struggled with filling vacancies, in part because of a teachers’ contract that has gone unsettled for nearly four years.





Frankford High, Benjamin Franklin High, Bartram High, Ethan Allen Elementary, and Huey Elementary had the highest ratios of non-compliant staff, Butkovitz said.

“The school district puts itself at risk for the possible loss of much-needed educational dollars when it does not follow guidelines,” Butkovitz said in a statement. “The grant funding requirements are specific in that all schools receive comparable money for the number of students it educates.”

School system officials had no immediate comment, but Butkovitz said the district acknowledged it must do better.

The district has embarked on a high-profile radio and social media marketing campaign, and has received 277 applications for open jobs since January, Butkovitz said.




“It is encouraging that the school district has taken several actions to increase their staffing levels,” he said. “They have the opportunity now to fill all required positions before they must tackle the looming budget deficit.”





















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1 Philadelphia

Philadelphia News & Search

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