“Lets say you’re an employee making $70,000 a year.” says Stanski. “That’s about a $14,000 payment to your pension fund. It’s just not sustainable and yeah, it worries me tremendously.”
Philadelphia’s school superintendent, William Hite, says the math just doesn’t add up. The district, he says, has seen “years of reductions of revenue, years of spending beyond what the district was taking in — not just over the last two years but for the past decade.”
Marjorie Neff agrees. She’s a former principal and one of five members of the School Reform Commission that took over the district in 2001 to stabilize its finances. Instead, the commission has lurched from one budget shortfall to the next.
It has had to shut down 31 schools and lay off thousands of teachers, reading coaches, librarians, nurses and counselors in the last two years.