SRC priorities: where the money goes
By the Notebook on May 22, 2008 12:00 AM
The School Reform Commission took a first step toward implementing its new reform priorities by committing $15.4 million in the 2008-09 budget to reducing class size in 35 of its lowest-performing schools and providing partial funding for an art or music teacher in every school.
Since 2002, according to District officials, the SRC has launched reform initiatives that now account for $415 million of the proposed $2.3 billion budget. Here are the largest of the other spending initiatives undertaken by the SRC since 2002, in terms of what each will cost next year.
|$154 million||Debt service/capital programs
Funded by borrowing, the District’s six-year, $1.8 billion capital plan stepped up school construction, modernization, maintenance, and K-8 conversions.
|$98 million||Charter school expansion
The SRC has approved the establishment of 24 charters since 2002, accounting for almost one-third of total charter costs.
|$39.6 million||Disciplinary school expansion
The SRC authorized contracts expanding the District’s disciplinary school system to provide more than 3,500 slots.
|$20.5 million||High school restructuring
The District created more than 20 smaller high schools and launched programs such as CorePhilly scholarships, AP, and International Baccalaureate.
|$15.8 million||Reduced class size/elimination of split grades
The School District hired additional teachers in 2007 specifically to eliminate all split grade classrooms across the system.
|$11.9 million||Afterschool/extended day program
Extra support is offered to all students who fall short of proficiency on standardized tests. $10.8 million Education management organizations (EMOs)As part of the privatization initiative implemented after the state takeover, 38 schools are currently managed by private providers under District contract.
|$8.8 million||Accelerated high schools
The District has contracts with outside partners to manage alternative schools serving over 1,000 over-age students at risk of becoming dropouts. $8.4 million Teacher recruitment and retentionInitiatives have included new teacher coaches, support for student teachers, and alternative pathways to teaching.
|$8 million||Expanded summer programs
Summer school, which had been a program for 12th graders to make up credits, was broadened and extended to other grades.