Blogging the school district budget

The Philadelphia School District is set to have its first public hearing on the 2012-13 budget tonight, and I'll be livetweeting.

A few bullet points:

-The overall spending plan is $2.5 billion.  It contains a $218 million budget gap that will have to be made up through borrowing.  The district already spends 10 cents of every dollar on debt service.

-That $218 million gap is an optimistic figure that assumes the mayor's Actual Value Initiative will pass City Council, giving the district $94 million.  AVI doesn't have enough votes to pass at the moment, and there's some movement in Council to delay it by a year.  The $218 number also assumes that a court decision that would essentially allow charter schools to expand without district approval will be altered. 

-The budget banks on $156 million in givebacks from district unions.  (Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, has already balked.)

More to come!  You can follow along with the live Tweets here. The meeting is also live streamed on the district's website.

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