Philadelphia School Budget
University of Pennsylvania design professor Harris Steinberg thinks most of the now-shuttered buildings will bring the city little money — if they can be sold at all.
Dozens of school advocates interrupted the conclusion of Thursday’s City Council meeting with jeers for the mayor and Council because of the school funding stalemate.
“This is generally a tax break for the few, the new, and the well-to-do, not for most of Philadelphia,” Councilman Goode said of the tax-abatement program he would like to curtail.
Mayor Nutter wants Gov. Corbett’s funding plan implemented. City Council president Darrell Clarke and fellow councilmembers want vacant school properties sold off.
It’s day one of a year with unprecendented challenges.
Nutter said the city will borrow the money until the funding crisis can be resolved.
Kindergarten classes at Kipp Elementary charter school in North Philadelphia have begun, more than three weeks before district schools begin.
Sitting under tents, about a hundred parents and noontime aides say the school district needs to rehire the 1,200 noontime aides laid off in July.
State budget secretary Charles Zogby, in a statement, said concessions from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers must be negotiated before that cash is released.
“We train parents to be their child’s reading teacher at home, using the same strategies teachers use during the school year in the classroom,” says founder Alejandro Gac-Artigas.
Thousands of parents and students were at the School of the Future, on Parkside Avenue, for what the district calls a “family and education reunion.”
Rob Dubow says the Philadelphia school district’s budget woes could get worse if City Council doesn’t approve a bill to make permanent the once-temporary hike in the sales tax.
Schools superintendent William Hite says he has identified $33 million that the district can spend now to restore itinerant music teachers, fall sports, and at least one secretary per school.
Final work on the Pennsylvania budget will go into a second week of overtime, and maybe beyond, as the result of differences between the state House and Senate over one of the “companion” bills that make up the state budget package.
School Reform Commission chair Pedro Ramos isn’t making much comment until the financial picture is finalized.