PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mayor Michael Nutter and Philadelphia school superintendent Arlene Ackerman took their plea for more school funding on the road today, into an African-American church meeting of lay leaders in West Philadelphia.
Speaking to congregational representatives from AME churches across the region, Nutter (at lectern in photo) reiterated his call for leadership among local and state politicians to provide Philadelphia schools with the support they need.
Afterward, Nutter conceded that a tax increase for Philadelphia residents may have to be part of the mix.
“No one enjoys paying taxes — I get that,” he acknowledged to KYW Newsradio. “But people want service. So I’m standing with the kids and I’m saying that I think full-day kindergarten is important. I don’t think I’m going to get an argument from anybody saying that it’s not. (And) I think that getting kids to school on transportation is important.”
Superintendent Ackerman says the time for speeches is over.
“Now it’s time for our politicians to really put their actions where their words are, and I’m hoping that they’re going to do that,” she said.
In addition to keeping full-day kindergarten and school transportation, Nutter and Ackerman also want to preserve alternative education programs and work toward lower class sizes (see related stories).
Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060