Last week, we heard from some teachers that funding was being cut from Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. Now, we've finally heard from the School District on the matter. And, not only is the funding gone for now, but School District is pretty much saying it's up to teachers to restore it — through union contract concessions.
"In IB, particularly, we are not able to fund the annual fee that is paid to the association for each school. We were were not able to cover the cost of training this year for teachers, if teachers need training, or the cost of tests," says District spokesperson Fernando Gallard. "The good news is the IB teachers are still in the IB programs, so the students are still taking IB courses. The bad news is, they are taking IB courses that are not being credited to them yet, because we are not able to afford the school fee. The same is true for AP: The teachers that are in place are able to provide the course, but we are unable, given our financial situation, to provide the tests and training. The good news as regards AP is that most of the training did occur this past summer."
CP heard from one teacher who was to attend required training for an IB course in just a week; now, there's no funding for that.
Teachers complain that these courses are among the few advantages they can offer Philly public school students. But Gallard said, there is a way to bring back AP/IB funding.
"For us, this is of course an extremely important issue, and that's why we are continuing to push for more funding and we are continuing to push for more funding out of the negotiating table. Whatever we are able to save out of the negotiations with our unions, we are able to use to pay for things like this. This is a good example of where the money will go if we are able to find savings as we negotiate a union contract."
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