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Tug-of-War Over Philadelphia School Funding Draws City Hall Protests

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(Protesters calling for more funding for Philadelphia's public schools disrupt the opening meeting of City Council's fall session.  Credit: Mike Dunn)

(Protesters calling for more funding for Philadelphia’s public schools disrupt the opening meeting of City Council’s fall session. Credit: Mike Dunn)

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) — Public school advocates disrupted today’s opening meeting of City Council as the mayor’s plan to get the school district an extra $50 million went precisely nowhere.

Dozens of school advocates interrupted the conclusion of today’s meeting with jeers for the mayor and City Council because of the school funding stalemate (see related story).

Council president Darrell Clarke’s plan to raise the $50 million by selling off vacant district properties did advance a bit -– with the introduction of a transfer ordinance to shift the funds to the district.

Mayor Nutter’s alternative plan, however, did not advance.  He wants an extension of the city sales tax hike earmarked entirely for the schools (see related story), and he had transmitted legislation to that effect to Council.

However, Nutter was unable to convince even a single member of Council to introduce the bill, and without that the plan is dead on arrival.

When asked for  comment on the failure of the bill to advance, Nutter’s chief of staff, Everett Gillison said, “The administration will be working with City Council on the short- and long-term funding issues facing the school district this fall.”

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