Sources Scrambling To Find Funding So Philadelphia Schools Can Avert Doomsday Budget

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The School Reform Commission met briefly today as the budget crisis that threatens to strip Philadelphia public schools of all support personnel and numerous programs looms.

The district is still hoping for money to restore the drastic cuts it made to balance its budget.

The SRC had previously authorized the city to levy various taxes on its behalf, including a cigarette tax.  But even if the district realizes all the new revenue the city has promised, it is still hundreds of millions of dollars short.

Efforts to generate the needed funds range from official city lobbying in Harrisburg to grassroots efforts that include a hunger strike by workers and parents, begun June 17th.

US Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.)  says he is doing a one-day fast in solidarity while he continues to try to shake loose state and federal money.

“It’s our children,” he said today.  “I mean, if we can’t find money for our own children, somewhere, somehow, some way, we’re not worth much.”

A recent poll showed that most voters statewide would be willing to pay more taxes to fully fund schools.

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