The Slatest

Philadelphia Public School’s Yearly Budget for Books, Supplies is $160

Pennsylvania governor-elect Tom Wolf.

Mark Makela/Reuters

A new Philadelphia Inquirer report on an elementary school struggling to educate its students amidst material hardship begins with a disturbing piece of information:

The number couldn’t possibly be right, Marc Gosselin thought: $160.

That was the total discretionary budget he was handed as the brand-new principal of Anna Lane Lingelbach Elementary, a public school in Germantown.

That’s all he’d have to pay for a whole year’s books, supplies, staff training, after-school activities, and incidentals — small but important items like postage and pizza parties.

The school has since been told it will be receiving $46,000, but the money hasn’t arrived yet. For now, teachers and administrators supply what they can out of their own pockets and make do without resources that are standard at other schools. (Lingelbach doesn’t have music classes or playground equipment.)

Republican Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett’s handling of education funding was a major issue in his recent re-election campaign, which he lost to Democrat Tom Wolf.