The City Paper published an article last week entitled Urban Studies. The article highlights the risk that parents take in choosing to go the a Philadelphia public school in the current climate. Specifically, budget cuts and declining enrollment are forcing the district to close schools and change catchment boundaries. The result–parents that gamble by buying a house in a desirable catchment or choose to invest in their catchment school and forgo the lottery or private school application process could end up out of luck–their intended destination becomes overburdened with students from other schools being diverted in or worse, the school is simply taken away.
Don’t think that the problem of having a school yanked out from under you is limited to public schools either. Private schools are not immune. Faced with declining enrollments, last week the Archdocese of Philadelphia announced that it was closing 44 elementary schools in the region (Inquirer story).
If you hadn’t noticed before last week’s news cycle that the education landscape in this city is in the midst of a sea change, how do you like the wake up call?