This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Response to Feb. 10 blog post, “Facing growing shortfall, officials ask public for ideas on new revenue, cuts,” by Dale Mezzacappa.
If we keep Philadelphia children as the focal point, cutting any services is not an option. Of course nurses are needed in every school. In addition, adequate numbers of teachers are required so that class sizes are reduced and learning opportunities can improve. Schools need qualified leadership, counselors, classroom aides, lunchroom staff, janitorial services, secretarial staff and many ancillary personnel. A means must be identified to keep everyone in position.
Recently retired, I had the opportunity to visit several Central American countries. In Costa Rica, I noted that an approximately $30 per person fee is charged each time at the airport in order to exit the country. Philadelphia, with its historic roots, can certainly justify charging a modest fee to visit the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection or to exit the city. A large portion of these funds can be used annually to maintain and improve city schools.
Mayor Nutter, please do the math and check on the legalities of such a plan. Save our children. Save our schools. We owe them that much.
The writer is a retired high school nurse for the School District of Philadelphia.