Sunday, February 7, 2016

School District, Council Talk Funding

Schools Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. presented to Council today the “cold, harsh scenarios” facing the district unless the city and state contribute $180 million in new money and the teachers’ union agrees to enough concessions to cover a $304 million budget shortfall.

School District, Council Talk Funding

0 comments

Schools Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. presented to Council today the “cold, harsh scenarios” facing the district unless the city and state contribute $180 million in new money and the teachers’ union agrees to enough concessions to cover a $304 million budget shortfall.

He said the district would have to axe such fundamentals as athletics, guidance counselors, librarians and summer programs. He noted that he was asking for funds to fill “a hole, a gap.”

“They will not allow us to provide the education that our young Philadelphians deserve,” he said. “It will not allow us to fully invest in our teachers and principals, and improve their working conditions.”

Council members then proceeded to ask Hite and School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos a series of questions about the district’s $60 million request, noting that the city has raised taxes two years in a row without the state kicking in new money.

Ramos said there was a “qualitatively different feel” among state legislators, who are “no longer debating the need” to restore funding to Philadelphia schools.

“I don’t hear some of the negativity,” Ramos said. “There’s recognition that efforts have been made locally in a short amount of time to right the ship.”

Council President Darrell L. Clarke also asked Ramos, who was appointed chair of the SRC by Gov. Corbett, to arrange a sit-down for Council members with the governor.

“In all honesty, I have no idea why people say the governor won’t put in additional money for the School District of Philadelphia,” Clarke said. “I’ve never had that conversation with him.”

Clarke also unsuccessfully sought specific proposals for finding the $60 million.

“What do you want and how do you want it?” Clarke asked. “You’ve requested a tax increase?”

Ramos reiterated that his plan called for “shared sacrifice” from the city, state and unions, but he did not attempt to tell Council how to come up with any new money.

“Collectively, I think we’re all responsible for getting there,” Ramos said.

 Click here for Philly.com's politics page.

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

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

Inquirer City Hall Staff
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter