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Council Prez: City Hesitant to Give School District More Money Unless State Does, Too

(Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke, in file photo from City of Phila. TV)

(Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke, in file photo from City of Phila. TV)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council president Darrell Clarke says councilmembers would be hesitant to chip in more money for the Philadelphia School District unless state lawmakers do the same.

The city is being asked to pony up $60 million more for the school district, the state $120 million.

Council President Darrell Clarke says council will comply, but only if Harrisburg does the same.

“If the City Council of Philadelphia votes and appropriates money from the residents of the city of Philadelphia, that won’t be in lieu of state contributions.”

But how Clarke could get such guarantees is unclear, particularly since the state budget is unlikely to be settled before the city’s. Mayor Nutter is proposing that part of the city’s share be raised through increases in the liquor and cigarette taxes, but both of those changes would require state approval.

Clarke says state lawmakers cannot simply provide those approvals as a substitute for additional funding.

“At some point, the state has to step to the plate with some substantive and real dollars, and it can’t simply enable to raise taxes on our own citizens.”

Nutter says he’ll unveil his proposal to fund the $60 million next week.

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