There's a danger that Philadelphians asked again and again to dig into their pockets to personally help the city's destitute schools will experience

compassion fatigue

, a term sometimes used to describe how overwhelmed caregivers for the critically ill and incapacitated feel.

To their credit, public education supporters haven't given up on the schools yet. Twice recently, they rescued scholastic programs falling victim to budget cuts. Contributors donated $100,000 to continue a program conducted by a World Affairs Council staffer at Bodine International High School. Earlier, $10,000 was raised so the High School for Creative and Performing Arts could put on its annual spring show.

Other programs being shortchanged due to the district's fiscal condition deserve help, too. But rather than depending on the mercurial kindness of strangers, all public schools should be adequately funded to provide the well-rounded education children need not just to compete, but to excel in today's world.