Philadelphia School District Pleads For Adequate City and State Funding
By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia school district officials are warning of dire consequences if the city and state don’t quickly come through with millions in new funding.
Standing with educators and advocates today at School District of Philadelphia headquarters on North Broad Street, superintendent William Hite laid out the district’s desperate financial situation.
“Without an additional $96 million, we will have to make more cuts,” Hite said, beyond what he called an “inadequate status quo.”
The cuts would include hundreds of teacher layoffs, class sizes of up to 41, and deferred maintenance on school buildings.
The district has to adopt its budget for next year by the end of this month.
School district officials say they needs $75 million more from the city, an extra $150 million from the state, and $95 million in labor concessions to fill its budget gap.
Philadelphia School Reform Commission chair Bill Green called on City Council to borrow a full $55 million for schools this fiscal year, not just the $27 million that Council has authorized for the district to cover unsold school buildings.
Council president Darrell Clarke says the district turned down $50 million by not letting Council sell those properties.
“They now find themselves, because of their inaction, at the eleventh hour in a position that they did not have to be in,” Clarke said today at City Hall.
Clarke has resisted more borrowing, but Hite says he won’t concede — because, as he put it, “the stakes are too high.”
KYW Newsradio City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn contributed to this report.