Reporting Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The School District of Philadelphia goes before City Council today, and officials are expected to paint a bleak financial picture. The School District is facing a well-documented $629-million shortfall.
District Chief Financial Officer Michael Masch and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman (pictured) will present that budget to Council today. Masch says the city’s contribution has been flat for years, and right now the district is getting $300 million less from the state.
“This has been a very difficult time for the city economically,” Masch says. “The superintendent and the School Reform Commission recognize that. We all recognize that. But we’ve also shown what price we’re going to have to pay if we leave the School District budget the way it is.”
Masch says he and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman will outline to City Council what will happen if more revenue isn’t found: “We’re not expecting to see all the cuts in funding restored. But we do hope that they will be reduced so that the School District of Philadelphia will not have to impose as much pain on students, on families, on teachers and on the entire community.”
He says that price would include cutting full-day kindergarten back to half days, eliminating most bus transportation and trimming art, music and athletics.
The state provides more than half of the district’s operating revenues — the city, about 30%.
Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060