Philadelphia schools’ budget picture still unclear

    Even with additional money from the city of Philadelphia, the public schools are not out of the woods yet.

    Mayor Michael Nutter says even though the city contributed $53 million to the schools, the state’s $22 million didn’t cover the extra money the school district put in the budget.

    “On the one hand, I certainly appreciate the dollars the state put on the table,” Nutter said. “But we certainly made the case that the city school district had built $57 million into its budget which I did not think was unreasonable for charter school reimbursement.”

    The mayor said the school district will have to take more steps to close its budget gap. The school district is anticipating $75 million in union contract savings, but Philadelphia Federation of Teachers head Jerry Jordan says he isn’t renegotiating his contract.

    “The teachers are already going through a 16-month period without a wage increase,” he said. “The teachers go into their pocket every year and spend thousands of dollars to buy supplies and materials for the children that they teach.”

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