Philadelphia School Budget
The school district wants more than $100 million above the city’s current contribution. The Nutter administration proposes raising $105 million with a 9.3-percent hike in property taxes. Councilmembers are already discussing alternate means.
Right now, the district’s $2.9-billion preliminary budget for next year is short, according to CFO Matt Stanski.
KYW Newsradio has learned that Mayor Nutter will propose a hefty increase in city property taxes in order to give the cash-starved Philadelphia School District an extra $100 million.
The district faces an $80-million deficit next year, but SRC chair Bill Green says adding five charters won’t break the budget because four of the schools would open in 2016.
The mayor believes Wolf’s election will boost the prospects for passage of dedicated, student-weighted state funding for all school districts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The district is appealing to Commonwealth Court, where it seeks a judgment on whether the School Reform Commission has the authority to cancel the PFT contract.
Union president Jerry Jordan, in a statement, said the cancellation lacked legal merit and he called the act “cowardly and disrespectful.”
Despite the turmoil surrounding the Philadelphia school district’s budget crisis, one of its top high schools has reason again to celebrate.
Members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers spent part of the morning rallying outside of public schools across the city.
“The school district is in a budget crisis … because the district has been subject to unprecedented state funding cuts. But not only unprecedented — discriminatory,” Michael Masch said.
“This is not the preferred route, but it is where we are,” Nutter said today.
The $2 surtax will only be collected in Philadelphia, and the funds will go to the city’s struggling school district.
For some, it was déjà vu: the House passed a bill more than two months ago to authorize the cigarette tax for city schools, but then the bill got bogged down.
Laurie Friedman, who lives in West Philadlephia, had tears in her eyes as she read letters written by students begging state lawmakers to increase funding for the city’s schools.
Philadelphia public schools opened today amid huge budget deficits and reduced staffing