Philly Public Schools Opening Amid Budget Crisis - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Philly Public Schools Opening Amid Budget Crisis

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PHILADELPHIA -

About 134,000 Philadelphia public school students start a new school year Monday.

But, obviously backdrop to that is the crisis the school district has been facing.

The district is still facing a lot of serious challenges.

This is a day that the kids may be excited but not everybody is excited like we normally have here. The teachers are coming back to classroom while their union leaders go back to the negotiating room.

The union, 15,000 strong, has not even come close to threatening to strike but also isn't seemingly close to giving in to giving back 13 percent of their salary, the figure the district is demanding of its highest-paid teachers.

The average Philadelphia School District teacher makes $70,000. The district wants to cut that pay, make them pay for some of their health benefits for the first time, take away seniority rules and maybe even work a longer shift. That is a lot of demand for people already under a lot of pressure teaching class sizes, bigger than ever, without the needed number of guidance counselors, security staff, secretaries, nurses, FOX 29's Steve Keeley reported.

"Rest in Peace" Philadelphia schools was the message carried by protestors in Center City on Sunday, mourning the effects the school budget crisis could have on students when they head back to class.

That was on the minds of a lot of parents and leaders last night, as FOX 29's Chris O'Connell reported from the protest.

On Monday morning, the Mayor Michael Nutter and Superintendent William Hite are showing up at Dimner Beeber Middle School in Overbrook to help kick off the school year. Keeley is reporting from there all morning long.

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