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City Council passes resolution to support moratorium on school closings

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

City Council has passed a resolution in support of placing a moratorium on school closings, the Inquirer ‘s Troy Graham is reporting. The non-binding resolution was passed 14 to 2, with Councilmembers Bill Green and Maria Quiñones-Sanchez voting against.

Vote on Council resolution to support moratorium of school closing passes 14-2. @mariaqsanchezand @green4philly voting against.

— Troy Graham (@troyjgraham) January 24, 2013

Council has no real say on school closures, but issue is hot button, lots of protester types on hand today.

— Troy Graham (@troyjgraham) January 24, 2013

Moratorium resolution is, of course, non-binding. Supporters leave in a great mood. Do they think the issue is settled?

— Troy Graham (@troyjgraham) January 24, 2013

Update (2:14 p.m.): The Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) has released a statement, which has been reproduced below.

PCAPS’ Statement Praising City Council’s Call For a Moratorium on School Closings

The Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) applauds City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and her colleagues for supporting today’s resolution calling for a moratorium on school closings.

Superintendent Hite and his team have embarked on a well-intentioned but premature effort to justify the drastic action of shuttering 37 schools without embarking on a comprehensive community impact study. Furthermore, research has shown that school closures often fail to bring about projected revenue savings and do not help improve student achievement in the long run.

Given these realities, the most prudent step moving forward is to halt all school closings and instead collaborate with public officials, non-profits, hospitals, universities, the business community and others to examine the community impact of these closings and seek out innovative alternatives that will truly enrich the lives of Philadelphia students and their families.

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