U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is right in saying there is “no excuse” for allowing Philadelphia public schools to be in financial limbo and urging Pennsylvania lawmakers to help the state’s largest school district “avert an educational crisis.”

“There’s no excuse for a public school system anywhere in the U.S. to be in this situation in the 21st century, and it’s even worse to see it in Philadelphia, the cornerstone of this great country and the cradle of our founding principles,” said Duncan last week in a prepared statement. “Philadelphia’s children didn’t create these problems or ask for them; our responsibility as adults is to do everything we can to provide students in Philadelphia the world-class education they deserve.

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