Reporting Mike Dunn
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Parents upset with the Philadelphia School District’s budget crisis came to City Council Thursday, hoping those lawmakers would boost the size of the city’s bailout. The parents left disappointed.
Parents and other school advocates attempted to pack council chambers for council final spring meeting. Many were forced to stay in the hallway while a few, like Denise Laraby, were allowed to speak to Council members.
“The cigarette tax is a solution that is likely to fail, and if it does you will have failed Philadelphia’s children,” Laraby said.
The parents wanted Council to raise a tax on commercial property owners called “Use and Occupancy” to funnel even more money to the schools.
Council President Clarke said council’s approval of a cigarette tax and stepped up revenue collection would bring 74 million dollars to the schools.
“Look at the record,” Clarke said. “This Council has consistently stepped to the plate, sometimes when no one else has.”
And Council adjourned, taking no action on the U&O tax, leaving the parents and activists unsatisfied. The cigarette tax still is lacking approval from state lawmakers.