This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Matthew Grady for NewsWorks
Standing before hundreds of parents and students gathered in the Roxborough High School auditorium, Timothy Boyle, a math teacher at AMY Northwest, asked the audience about the basic tasks of school personnel.
"Who is going to meet with students to review their high school options for next year?" he asked.
"Counselors," the audience replied, also responding to questions regarding secretarial duties, lunch monitoring, and in-school discipline.
Boyle observed that under the terms of the proposed Philadelphia School district budget, teachers will shoulder responsibilities formerly assigned to others, increasing their workload and distracting them from their core function as teachers.
"In short," Boyle concluded, "the adults that students depend on will be doing more things less well."
The quest for funding
Boyle’s brief speech speaks to the impact of the District’s projected 2013-2014 school year budget, with a $304 million budget shortfall that could mean the loss of assistant principals, guidance counselors, librarians, music teachers, athletics and summer programming.