Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, cut more than $1 billion from the state's K-12 budget, which hit the state-controlled Philadelphia district hardest.
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Julia de Burgos Elementary teacher Gail Kantor, shown here in her sixth-grade class, says she buys things like clothing, books and school supplies for her students with her own money. "Some kids don't ever have a dime," she says.
Third-grader Kassim West last July at Walter G. Smith Elementary School, one of more than 20 Philadelphia public schools that closed at the end of the school year.
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The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers protests outside Feltonville Intermediate School in Philadelphia last month. The protesters demanded the reinstatement of counselors and teachers aides, and blamed Gov. Tom Corbett for budget cuts.
This is the first in a three-part report on Philadelphia schools in crisis.
Sharron Snyder and Othella Stanback, both seniors at Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin High, will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. This, their final year, was supposed to be memorable. Instead, these teenagers say they feel cheated.
"We're fed up with the budget cuts and everything. Like, this year, my school is like really overcrowded. We don't even have lockers because it's, like, too many students," Sharron says.