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Philly teachers’ union, City Council member criticize early dismissals

Demands for state funds to upgrade the city's old buildings with air conditioning

Students walking to school in Philadelphia. (WHYY file Photo/Matt Rourke)

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

For the fourth time in the first seven days of the school year, Philadelphia public schools will close early Wednesday due to heat.

With high temperatures expected to reach the low 90s yet again, the School District of Philadelphia will dismiss students at noon. The District decided to keep schools open all day on Tuesday despite a forecast for higher temperatures than Wednesday, prompting backlash from the teachers’ union.

The union also criticized District officials for starting classes a week earlier than usual this year in an attempt to pack more learning days into the early part of the calendar. The District dismissed students early three times last week due to heat and had planned another half-day on the schedule.

Critics can’t blame the calendar for Wednesday’s early dismissal, though. The school year in Philadelphia’s traditional public schools typically starts the day after Labor Day, which, this year, brought mid-90s temperatures to the region.

Read the rest of this story at WHYY News

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