Philadelphia School Budget
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.
The district is already counting on City Council to provide $120 million more for next year by extending the one-percent city sales tax hike. But that’s far from a done deal. And it says it wants $96 million beyond that.
His visit to George Washington High School, on Bustleton Avenue in the Northeast, was the first of four around the district.
Philadelphia schools superintendent William Hite (at right in photo) says he wants to keep the conversation on revenue — where the needed funds will come from — and not on the cuts that would ensue if it doesn’t arrive.
The two dozen attorneys are urging councilmembers to extend the city sales tax hike to provide $120 million for the cash-starved Philadelphia School District.
“Schools are not okay the way they are,” says Cindy Farlino, principal of the Meredith School, in Queen Village. “They opened, and our kids came, but they are not okay.”
Helen Gym is well known among local government and educational leaders for keeping them on their toes. The Philadelphia community activist will be honored at the White House next week for her service to the city.
“People should take a selfie and they should tweet it with the hashtag #IamPreK,” said the head of the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children at their annual conference.
None of this affects the core of center city and University City, where multi-space kiosks are used rather than the old-style meters.
The Philadelphia school district’s international magnet school, Bodine High School for International Affairs, is named for the World Affairs Council chairman who helped start it in 1981.
Eighty-three percent of the principals’ union membership voted to accept the contract concessions that also require them to pay health care premiums.
A coaltion of organizations wants City Council to approve a one-percent sales tax extension and use all of the proceeds — about $120 million — for the Philadelphia schools.
According to a budget overview obtained by KYW Newsradio, additional money for inspectors will “strengthen demolition controls to ensure safe public and private demolitions.”