The School District of Philadelphia is in crisis mode. I read about different meetings, proposals, school changes, and budget updates daily, yet I still feel like I have no idea what is going on. If you're looking to learn more about any story related to this process, check out http://www.thenotebook.org/ where you can find anything and everything district related.
Also a great resource is the Philly School Files section of Philly.com: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/school_files/ where Kristen Graham is diligent in reporting daily updates.
As for the district, the vacancy list for 2011-2012 has been posted. Who knows how they are going to fill these positions (but I do see quite a few ESOL spots on there, so hopefully I'm in good shape?!?).
Additionally, for some color commentary on all of this...there are these amazing "heat" maps of the district and its surrounding areas. Anyone interested in education, or socio-economics in general will find them intriguing. http://www.localetrends.com/philadelphia-trends.php
They are available for every major city...pretty interesting stuff.
I'm trying to keep a positive outlook on all of this. I realize that with the current economic situation there will need to be some major cuts. This is understandable, and realistic. Public education is not immune to the tough times that have plagued the rest of the country. I just hope they make the right decisions, and truly cut any "fat" before making decisions that will place our students at greater risk. One item on the table right now is cutting full-day kindergarten, and that is something that I fear will cause irreparable harm. Many of the students in our district enter school very far behind as it is...this will guarantee that all of our battles are uphill for many years to come. If there is one issue that needs to be fought for, I believe this is it!