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Philadelphia School Chief Faces Down Budget Cuts and Crises

William R. Hite Jr., superintendent of schools in Philadelphia, one of the nation’s poorest cities, is known as a man who prefers collaboration to confrontation, but he has spent the academic year taking no prisoners. He laid off almost 4,000 workers to close a $304 million budget gap and threatened to keep school doors locked until officials found stopgap money to ensure what he considered a basic level of security for students. He says he was just warming up.