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School District Leans On City Council For More Money

Chief Academic Officer Penny Nixon, SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos, Chief Recovery Officer Tom Knudsen (by Mike DeNardo)

Chief Academic Officer Penny Nixon, SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos, Chief Recovery Officer Tom Knudsen (by Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Public testimony is on tap today, on day two of the school district’s budget hearings at City Council.  The school district is banking on more money from the city.  But City Council asks why the district isn’t looking to the state as well.

Facing a $218 million deficit, the school district is already counting on an extra $94 million from the mayor’s Actual Value tax initiative. Council president Darrell Clarke asked why the district isn’t pressuring Harrisburg for more cash as well.

“The assumption is that they’re not going to do anything now. But yet, $94 million from the city, i.e., City Council, was put in the plan before we even saw the proposed plan or even knew about the $94 million.”

Council members also wanted to know if the district’s plan to close schools and decentralize administration would improve education. School Reform Commission Chair Pedro Ramos responded that failing to act would continue to drain resources from the classroom.

“What’s clear is, not doing so makes it worse,” Ramos says.