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Mayor Not Ready To Give Up on Additional State Help For Philadelphia’s Schools

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(Mayor Michael Nutter.  File photo by Mike Dunn)

(Mayor Michael Nutter. File photo by Mike Dunn)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  The just-passed state budget provides a partial bailout for the financially-strapped Philadelphia school system.  But Mayor Nutter says there are still plenty of details to be resolved.

The funding package would give Philadelphia schools $140 million of the $180 million the district says it needed from the city and the state to prevent its “doomsday” budget from taking hold (see related stories).   Not part of the deal is the $2-a-pack cigarette tax that Mayor Nutter proposed (see related story).

House Republicans said “no,” but Nutter isn’t ready to give up on it yet.

“Certainly a potentially large funding source.   I’m not prepared to declare it… where it is one way or the other,” the mayor told KYW Newsradio today.

The package approved in Harrisburg has strings attached.  The district has to put unspecified educational reforms into place. Teachers’ union president Jerry Jordan is trying to figure out what that means.

“Regarding the ‘strings,’ it’s not clear yet,” Jordan says, “and therefore we’re going to spend some time today trying to get a better understanding as to what the meaning of the legislation is.”

The district has been trying to negotiate $133 million in labor concesions.

The district’s 3,800 layoff notices take effect with the start of the new fiscal year, July 1st, but it’s unclear right now how many workers may be hired back.

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