More students in Philadelphia won’t have a ride to school

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By Nigel Boys

Due to the recent debates on whether or not to impose a cigarette tax in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the state has tried to recover around $4 million of their $81 million shortfall by taking away subsidized transport to students who live a little nearer to their school.

According to the Department of Education, giving students a transportation allowance is a concession they have made in order to save on student’s expenses, not a right they have, even if most of the students come from underprivileged families. The only thing that the state of Pennsylvania has to provide for their students is a thorough and efficient system of education, in accordance with their constitution, which they claim they are trying to do.

Consequently, around 7,500 high school students will not be eligible to receive two tokens to use for their transport to and from school every day if they live within 2 miles of their school. The previous stipulation was 1.5 miles, so to save an extra $70 per month from each student, the state increased that distance by one half mile.

Students who used to receive tokens to help them on their way to school every morning, will now have to start out from their homes 45 minutes earlier in order to walk the distance to their school and arrive on time. They will also be approximately another 3 quarters of an hour later in getting home in the evening.

The Philadelphia School District said that since 87% of district school students are economically disadvantaged, they will struggle to find the means to get to school on time, if they are unable to walk. They add that for the 25% of students’ families who fall below the poverty line, providing an extra $70 a month, just for their kids to get to school safely, will be almost impossible.

Other measures that have been taken to ensure that Philadelphia’s schools open on time include reducing school security, postponing much needed repairs to buildings and purchasing from vendors.

However, what the district administrators and the unions are most concerned about is the fate of over 1,000 employees that hangs in the balance if the proposed cigarette tax is not established. If more school nurses, counselors, librarians and administrators lose their jobs, the ultimate victims will be the students, because they will have to attempt to learn in overcrowded, understaffed classrooms that are extremely short on supplies.




  1. Bruce Clarke

    August 25, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    This is like everything else in this state, that has shown that it does not give a danm about the students in this state and that also goes for the good for nothing mayor of the city of Philadelphia. He’s great when it comes to protecting the rich of the city, but shows little concern for the poor.

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