The Philadelphia School District Thursday night scrapped the first of six scheduled budget hearings for lack of parent participation. The hearing on the district's 2010-11 proposed $3.2 billion budget was to take place at South Philadelphia High School.
Chief Business Officer Michael Masch said he believed the lack of interest stemmed from the relatively good news in the spending plan. Relying on a cash infusion from the federal government's stimulus package, the district wants to spend $180 million on initiatives included in "Imagine 2014," Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's strategic plan.
The budget would pay for an expanded summer school, programs for immigrant students, an additional center to help dropouts, and the district's 14 "Renaissance" schools, failing schools that will be radically restructured. No layoffs are expected.
Five more community budget hearings are scheduled - Saturday at Northeast High, 10 a.m. to noon; Tuesday at Edison High, 6 to 8 p.m.; Thursday at Martin Luther King High, 6 to 8 p.m.; May 13 at Ethel Allen School, 6 to 8 p.m.; and May 20 at Turner Middle School, 6 to 8 p.m. - Kristen A. Graham