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.
Credit Matt Stanley for NPR
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.