Philadelphia School Budget
Much to Mayor Nutter’s chagrin, his controversial plan to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works will not be introduced before City Council adjourns for the summer season.
Philadelphia school district officials are warning of dire consequences if the city and state don’t quickly come through with millions in new funding.
Grassroots politicians from all across Pennsylvania are in Philadelphia for the annual Pennsylvania Municipal League convention. While here, they helped
Drexel paid $25 million for the school building, which the district closed last June.
The School District of Philadelphia’s plan to sell a shuttered high school to Drexel University appears to be a go, and that would mean an infusion of cash for the schools next week as officials struggle to pay the bills by month’s end.
But the lawmakers voiced frustration at how the school district conducts its business.
City Council president Darrell Clarke says the school district’s immediate need for $35 million by month’s end is a “self-inflicted wound” because the district, in his view, dragged its feet on selling old, shuttered buildings.
Even so, the proposed legislation does not fully meet the district’s needs for the coming year.
At a Council hearing this morning, school district COO Fran Burns said seven of the 27 buildings have buyers, and the rest are not likely to bring in as much as had been hoped.
Students at West Philadelphia High erupted in cheers as Heidi Hamels announced the $8,700 grant to their school, one of six new Hamels Foundation gifts — totaling $51,000 — to area schools.
City Council president Darrell Clarke has decided to play it safe, adding a fallback provision to his plan to send sales tax proceeds to the cash-starved school district.
Mayor Nutter says he’s concerned that the proposed graduated split in sales tax proceeds would need approval from the state General Assembly.
The Philadelphia school funding crisis was coming to a head in City Council as the Council president introduced a bailout plan that neither the mayor, state lawmakers, nor school advocates are likely to embrace.
City councilman Wilson Goode Jr. is accusing the Nutter administration of ignoring the needs of the school district by opposing his plan to scale back the city’s ten-year property tax abatement.
Teachers’ union president Jerry Jordan called on City Council to allocate all $120 million from a city sales tax extension to schools.