Penn Project for Civic Engagement Offers Opportunities to Debate the Upper Darby School District’s Budget Priorities

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | | 215-898-4820
Media Contact:Linda Breitstein | | 215-898-1112February 19, 2013

PHILADELPHIA — The University of Pennsylvania Project for Civic Engagement has teamed up with the Center for School Study Councils to host four community forums at the request of the Upper Darby School District.

Designed to solicit opinions regarding the district’s $9.7 million budget gap, “Tight Times, Tough Choices: Community Input Into the District Budget” welcomes residents from the Upper Darby area to share their perspectives, so that school district officials can get a collective sense of their budgetary priorities for the 2013-14 school year.

Each community forum will begin with a brief presentation about the district’s current fiscal situation.  Attendees will break into small groups for the heart of the forum, when they’ll review the budget options.  At that point, these small groups will work through the realistic choices and trade-offs that face the school board and its administration. 

The first “Tight Times, Tough Choices” community forums will be on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Watkins Senior Center, 326 Watkins Ave. in Upper Darby.

On Tuesday, March 5, from 7 to 9 p.m., the forums continue at the Beverly Hills Middle School, 1400 Garrett Road.  The third forum is Sunday, March 10, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Drexel Hill Middle School, 3001 State Road in Drexel Hill.

The last forum is scheduled for Monday, March 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Westbrook Park Elementary School, 199 Westbrook Drive in Clifton Heights.

Advance registration is requested at

But, if someone is unable to register ahead of time, he or she can do so 30 minutes before the start of each forum.

Organizers at the Penn Project for Civic Engagement say that the goal is to come up with a list of primary concerns and reasons stating why these concerns are so important to the group members.

“The Upper Darby school board and school administrators have promised to consider input from these forums and report back to the community on how that input is reflected in the budget the school board adopts,” said Harris Sokoloff, the director of the Penn Project for Civic Engagement.