Pros and Cons of PA Funding Construction of $400 Million Prison While Letting Philadelphia Schools Close

By: Fritz Algard

Pennsylvania and Philadelphia are at the precipice of a major controversy, as the Philadelphia Superintendent of Schools recently warned schools could close due to a budget impasse. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s prison budget totals close to $250 Million, and the state is funding a nearby State Correctional Institute with an eye-popping $400 Million price tag. Only last year, Mayor Nutter proposed setting aside city money to renovate the Philadelphia County Prisons. Here are the pros and cons of this course of action:


  • The Philadelphia Public School System has produced thousands of convicted felons each year.  Closing schools would then limit this amount.
  • Potentially create more pop up rooftop beer gardens (ie: Le Bok Fin)
  • Affords Philadelphia boasting rights by having a close proximity to the new construction of an expensive high-end institution of confinement.
  • Gives the necessary push all Philadelphia Public School teachers need to move into a better school district.
  • Contribute to the “Stand For Trees” campaign by limiting the amount of purchases made towards costly textbooks.
  • Much attention is given to the problematic “school to prison pipeline.” Closing schools would effectively end the pipeline but cutting out the unnecessary middle man.


  • $400 Million is a little over budget for the state.
  • Over time may slowly work itself into a newer Eastern State Penitentiary, thus taking up a large amount of space for historical purposes and the creation of a haunted house that happens annually for a couple weeks.
  • $400 Millon.
  • Extravagant funding for prisons may create a life of luxury within the prison system that lures more people towards a life of crime.