Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

This week in AVI and schools

Do you have strong feelings about public school funding and Mayor Nutter’s property-tax overhaul? Do you yearn to express your views?

This week in AVI and schools

The district´s Chief Academic Officer Penny Nixon, School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos and Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen recently testified in budget hearings at Council chambers.
The district's Chief Academic Officer Penny Nixon, School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos and Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen recently testified in budget hearings at Council chambers.

Do you have strong feelings about public school funding and Mayor Nutter’s property-tax overhaul? Do you yearn to express your views?

Of course you do. Who doesn’t?

This week, there are several budget hearings and events where community members can have their say about these issues. Or, if they prefer, where they can sit back and listen to citizens and elected officials debate them. Here’s this week in AVI and schools:

State hearing on AVI: At 11:30 a.m. today, a state House committee is holding a public hearing on House Bill 2361 at the Independence Visitor Center. The bill would redirect about $86 million in gaming revenue to Philadelphia’s cash-strapped school district, instead of raising that money through property taxes. Currently, the gaming revenue is used to reduce city wage taxes.

The hearing will also explore Nutter’s Actual Value Initiative, or AVI. The usual suspects will be there, like finance director Rob Dubow, tax activist Brett Mandel, and civic leader Jeff Hornstein. If time allows, the public will be able to comment, too.

Council hearing on AVI: This week, Council is yet again debating AVI — first at a 1 p.m. public hearing today at City Hall.

Another Council hearing on AVI: … And then again, beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. Council put off these hearings until June 5 at 3 p.m.

ACTION protest against schools restructuring: The Philadelphia chapter of ACTION United is planning a protest against the school district’s massive (and massively controversial) restructuring plan. The group will be rallying on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at 440 N. Broad Street.

SRC votes on schools budget: At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the School Reform Commission is holding a meeting to vote on the schools budget. There will be time for public comment. A lot of time, in fact: School District spokesman Fernando Gallard said 60 people are already signed up to speak.

About this blog
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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