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Philadelphia Schools Boss Defends Pay Increases For 25 District Employees

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At a time when cash is tight, pay increases for some Philadelphia school district officials are raising eyebrows.

While the school district is trying to negotiate concessions from its unions, more than two dozen nonunion school employees have gotten raises since the summer.

Superintendent William Hite defended the salary increases today, saying they coincided with additional responsibilities for employees in the district’s IT, finance, and human resources departments.

“Some individuals were in teaching positions, some were administrators in schools,” he told KYW Newsradio today, “and then by moving into these new positions the salaries associated with those positions naturally gave those individuals an increase.”

But Philadelphia teachers’ union head Jerry Jordan was skeptical of the district’s priorities.

“It causes us to question the request for concessions,” he said today, “because certainly it doesn’t look as if there’s a problem.”

The district just borrowed $300 million to pay its bills this year (see related story), but Hite says the $300,000 for the raises was already budgeted.

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