Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Council members move to delay school funding until union settlement

Yesterday, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez introduced a resolution calling on the School Reform Commission to reach a settlement with the blue-collar union SEIU Local 32BJ District — or else Council will delay its decision on school funding.

Council members move to delay school funding until union settlement

The scene from Wednesday´s giant protest of the school district´s plans.
The scene from Wednesday's giant protest of the school district's plans. Clem Murray/Staff Photographer

Yesterday, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez introduced a resolution calling on the School Reform Commission to reach a settlement with the blue-collar union SEIU Local 32BJ District — or else Council will delay its decision on school funding.

The resolution, which 10 other Council members have signalled they support, also demands more funding from Harrisburg.

Council is currently mulling Mayor Nutter's plan to give an additional $94 million to the school district while overhauling the city's property-tax system.

This follows a massive rally against the school district's proposals to restructure schools and potentially lay off thousands of blue-collar employees.

Sanchez's resolution isn't the only issue that could hold up the city's budget, which is supposed to be passed by June 1 (though the more crucial deadline is July 1).

Nutter needs state lawmakers to pass a bill allowing the city to adjust its millage rate, which is used to calculate property-tax bills. But they haven't yet, and some lawmakers have criticized Nutter's plan.

Next week should be pretty interesting.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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