By Steve Tawa and Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The School Reform Commission publicly has no alternate funding plan now that Philadelphia City Council has decided to cut by more than half the amount of new money going to the school district (see related story).
SRC chairman Pedro Ramos says the school board will try to persuade Philadelphia City Council to increase the support it is offering to Philadelphia schoolchildren next year.
“We have a bare-bones budget at schools,” Ramos tells KYW Newsradio. “We’ve created a firewall this year [a promise not to make additional cuts to school budgets during the school year]. We’re borrowing money instead of cutting more from schools already. Our ability to proceed under that plan is compromised by the current proposal.”
Ramos says the SRC has made available on the school district web site every single school’s budget for the upcoming year.
“And we have a line in there that shows how much would come out if the $94 million didn’t materialize,” Ramos says.
Mayor Nutter wanted that $94 million in new funding for the school district to come from the city’s new property tax system, but Council wants to delay by a year the complex AVI property tax system.
At this point, Council is willing to provide an extra $40 million for schools.