Philadelphia public schools will not start later next year, district says

Later start times for public schools across Philadelphia have been postponed "during these challenging times."

In March, the Philadelphia School District announced that schools serving grades 6-12 would start at 9 a.m. for the 2022-2023 school year. Now all schools will maintain their current bell schedules next year, according to a statement released by the district Wednesday.

The initial plan was meant to reduce how long students were on buses and help ensure buses are on time. However, the district says they are not able to supply bus drivers for all 56 school at that time. 

"Like school districts across the country, we continue to wrestle with ongoing bus driver shortages," the district said in a statement.


The district called the postponement the "caring thing to do" as students, staff and families "reclaim a sense of familiarity and stability."

"We continue to recover from extended time apart when school buildings were closed; learn to live in the presence of an ever-changing pandemic; and deal with many other traumas locally, nationally and globally," the district said.

The announcement comes one day after 19 children and 2 adults were killed in a shooting at a Texas elementary school.