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Nutter Sees More Rough Road Ahead For Philly School District Funding

(Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter speaks with reporters outside his office about school district funding.  Credit: Mike Dunn)

(Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter speaks with reporters outside his office about school district funding. Credit: Mike Dunn)

By Mike Dunn

 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One day after Governor Tom Corbett freed up $45 million for the cash-starved Philadelphia school district (see related story), City Council is expected to give final approval to its plan for $50 million in new city money — a plan to which the mayor objects.

On Wednesday afternoon Mayor Nutter said he was thankful that the governor finally cut the check for the $45 million for the school district.

“I’m certainly appreciative that these funds are being released,” the mayor said.  “They are desperately needed.”

But Nutter again called on Corbett and the state legislature to tackle the more vexing issue of long-term funding for all Pennsylvania school districts.

“Where we really need to focus our attention long term is on a stable, regular, and recurring funding formula, a new funding formula that takes into account student population, student needs, and other challenges,” he told reporters.

Meantime, Nutter remains at odds with City Council over a separate $50 million in city funding that is already in the school district’s budget.   Nutter again called on Council to approve his preferred method: earmarking sales tax money (see related story).

“We still have a sales tax measure that needs to be passed by City Council,” the mayor said.

But Nutter has been unable to find any councilmember who is willing to even introduce that legislation, let alone vote for it (related story).  And Council members on Thursday are expected to cast a final vote on Council President’s Clarke alternative plan to send the district $50 million in exchange for control of unused buildings that the city would sell (related story).

Nutter opposes that idea but would not say what he’ll do with the measure if Council, as expected, gives it final approval.

“You know, I never predict what I’m going to do until it gets to my desk,” he said today.

At the same time, Nutter also announced that his effort to raise $500,000 for school supplies by October 15th through private donations fell slightly short.   He says about $431,000 was raised (see related story), though officials point out the effort is not over and the fundraising continues.

 

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