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With film, students document dire conditions in schools

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia. A student-produced documentary that provides an overview of the Philadelphia School District’s funding crisis premiered Wednesday night at an event hosted by Philly School Counselors United.

Dalena Bui and Danielle Little, seniors at Science Leadership Academy, co-directed the eight-minute film, which they’ve titled Schools Interrupted.

"I’m the first one in my family to go to college," narrates Bui in the film. "My parents are immigrants from Vietnam, and they sacrificed their lives so that my siblings and I could have a better education and a better life."

The film specifically laments the fact that budget cuts have severely reduced students’ access to guidance counselors this year.

"I was lucky to have my teachers, advisers and counselors intact," says Bui. "Our school community spent a lot of time and energy fundraising to make this happen. But, again, I just got lucky. But should we just hope for luck?"

Counselors have been a premium in schools across the city this year. For the first few months of the year, the district relied on 16 itinerant counselors to serve 48,000 students.

At this point, 44 schools still only have counseling services for 2.5 days a week.

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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