This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
What would you do with two and a half million dollars? Or, $2,447,020 to be exact.
That’s how much money Northeast High School would get if the School District of Philadelphia receives all of the $265 million in additional resources proposed by Gov. Wolf and Mayor Nutter.
Not saying it will happen, but what if ….?
Both men face an uphill battle to get those numbers through the General Assembly and City Council respectively, but enough with the politicians for a minute.
WHYY/NewsWorks wanted to know what a public school might do with the additional dollars if they ever arrived, so we went to Northeast High.
The tale the numbers tell
Northeast is Philadelphia’s biggest high school. Nearly 3,000 students attend the school, which was designed for 2,400. And it’s been around, in one building or another, for more than a hundred years.
"We don’t say, ‘You’re the graduating class of 2015," said principal Sharon McCloskey. "You’re class 174," or the 174th class to graduate from Northeast.
It’s also diverse. Student at Northeast speak 57 different languages, according to McCloskey.
Many Philadelphia public schools are diverse, but few fit this next statement: Northeast is a true comprehensive high school. That means it offers different courses of study to satisfy all types of students, from those who want to focus on academics to those interested in career skills.
Students can learn to play classical music, or take business classes.
"We even have kids designing video games," said McCloskey.
But the school has to look outside of its budget to provide some of those niche programs.