Monday, August 31, 2015

As Council approves Clarke's schools plan, Nutter considers giving up the fight

It was a battle of wills - and it's starting to look like Council President Darrell Clarke will outlast Mayor Nutter in the standoff over their competing plans to provide a desperately needed $50 million to the Philadelphia School District.

As Council approves Clarke's schools plan, Nutter considers giving up the fight

0 comments
Mayor Nutter (front) and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. listen during a symposium on Pennsylvania school funding at City Hall.
Mayor Nutter (front) and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. listen during a symposium on Pennsylvania school funding at City Hall. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer

It was a battle of wills - and it's starting to look like Council President Darrell Clarke will outlast Mayor Nutter in the standoff over their competing plans to provide a desperately needed $50 million to the Philadelphia School District.

With City Council unanimously approving Clarke's bill to buy $50 million worth of empty school buildings today, the mayor is now considering going along with the plan, an administration source told the Daily News. 

Another administration source said the mayor's staff will take another look at the buildings that Council says have interested buyers and move forward if there is substantial enough interest. 

Nutter had wanted Council to adopt a plan orchestrated by Gov. Corbett in which the city would make permanent a sales-tax increase expiring this year and borrow $50 million for the schools against its future revenue. No Council member even introduced the bill on Nutter's behalf, leaving the mayor with few options.

- He could continue to fight the Clarke bill and veto it. But there are more than enough votes for an override.

- He could ignore the bill - allowing it to become law without his signature and declining to send the $50 million check to the School District - and continue to call on Council to take up his plan. 

- Or he could raise the white flag and buy the empty school buildings. That would avoid a scenario in which the city comes up with nothing for the district after pledging last month that the $50 million would be there by the middle of the school year - an even uglier scenario for the mayor than surrending to Council.

Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said he knows nothing about what the two sources said regarding Nutter's plan.

"The administration has been in discussion with Council members, and we look forward to continuing that discussion to fulfill the pledge, the joint pledge, of getting $50 million to the School District of Philadelphia," he said. 

McDonald added that the administration is continuing to help the School District "to sell its surplus property and get the highest price as quickly as possible."

0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
 Follow William on Twitter

David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
 Follow David on Twitter

PhillyClout Team
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter