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Superintendent Hite Requests $320-Million For His Ambitious Education Plan

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Philadelphia Schools chief William Hite has attached a price tag to the ambitious action plan he released earlier this week.

Superintendent William Hite says he needs $320-million for what he calls a "good start" to his plan that aims to have all 8-year-olds reading at grade level, and all high schoolers graduating college or career-ready.

"This request is extremely important for a district that has closed 31 schools over the past 18 months, eliminated 5000 positions last year, and had to eliminate significant numbers of resources and programs," Hite said.

He's still banking on economic and work rule concessions from teachers.

"If people are truly serious about making schools great here in Philadelphia, then this is the time to really advocate on behalf of our children. And that advocacy then needs to be at every level of funding and that includes labor."

Hite says last year he asked for an additional $304 million from the city and state, and got $112 million. Massive staff and program cuts followed.

He says what's different this year, is a plan that will show what extra money will buy.

"We can show exactly what will be different in schools and what these resources will purchase."


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