What's up with the District's finances?

We'll honestly admit we're not sure what to make of this story. Despite reports to the contrary, School District officials are saying that they'll have a balanced budget. Here is the key quote from Mike Masch, the chief financial officer:

Masch said the district has already taken measures to bridge a possible budget shortfall.

"It is true that if we don't take corrective actions, we could have a budget gap for next year," he said.

"But we don't have a budget crisis. And the reason why we don't have a budget crisis is that we understand we have to take corrective actions, and we're doing so much earlier than we normally would in order to ensure we don't experience a financial crisis."

The Inquirer reported back in December that sources within the District placed the deficit at a cool $430 million. However, Masch is saying here that the District can take action to avoid having a big budget hole. The District has already undertaken some cost cutting measures, but it's unclear if they'll be enough to deal with the potential fiscal tsunami of less federal and state aid. We won't know for certain until the District formally presents a budget to the School Reform Commission. That's expected to happen in February.

For more, be sure to check out the Daily News story and the Public School Notebook, which has a bunch of analysis of the District's budget woes.

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