by Commonwealth Foundation
Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives
August 04, 2014
The School District of Philadelphia is in desperate need of reform, but its many problems cannot be solved by simply raising taxes and increasing spending. An analysis of the school district over the last decade reveals that revenue and expenditures have increased despite declining enrollment. Although city schools have seen staff reductions, these have been outpaced by a shrinking student population. Despite spending more on education, the district has seen student performance lag behind the national average. This phenomenon makes it clear that the solution to Philadelphia’s education woes is not more taxes – it is systemic reform. This should include expanded school choice, union concessions in labor contracts, and seniority reform to end “Last-in, First-out” rules.