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Mayor Backs Philadelphia School District Request For Tens Of Millions More

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(L-R: Philadelphia School District assistant superintendent Lee Nunery, superintendent Arlene Ackerman, and School Reform Commission chair Robert Archie were among those testifying today before Philadelphia City Council.  Photo by Mike DeNardo)

(L-R: Philadelphia School District assistant superintendent Lee Nunery, superintendent Arlene Ackerman, and School Reform Commission chair Robert Archie were among those testifying today before Philadelphia City Council. Photo by Mike DeNardo)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The School District of Philadelphia is telling City Council it needs more money from the city to balance its budget.

A lot more.

And Mayor Nutter is on board with the idea.

Without more money, the School District says it would be forced to eliminate full-day kindergarten, most yellow bus service, student TransPasses, and class-size reduction programs (see previous story).

What would it cost to spare them?   Schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman told City Council, “It would be $75 to $110 million.”

Mayor Nutter says he supports giving the school district that much more city money.  But the question is, will it be raised through a tax increase or by shifting existing revenues, or a combination of both?  Nutter wouldn’t get specific.

“For where we are right now, there are a variety of options that need to be discussed,” the mayor said.  “I’m not going to drill now into the details in a matter that is literally just evolving.”

The school district adopts a budget next Tuesday.  But if more city cash is on the way, district officials say that budget can always be amended.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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