Philadelphia schools face revenue shortfall in next year’s budget

The Philadelphia School District will face a gaping revenue shortfall next year. District and city officials confirm the next budget cycle will be a tough one as stimulus funds dry up, and it’s unclear what a new administration in Harrisburg will contribute.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and school superintendent Arlene Ackerman hosted a last-minute conference call for reporters Tuesday night to discuss next year’s district budget.

Responding to questions from an Inquirer reporter about a more than $400 million revenue hole, Ackerman said it was all speculation. Nutter agreed.

“There are any number of unknowns, there are a variety of scenarios, much like the city, the school district is at the start of the budgetary process,” he said.

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Adding to the uncertainty is the prospect of state cuts plus the end of federal stimulus funding. The school district’s current operating budget is $2.4 billion.

Nutter said he had not been approached by the district to help bail them out. The district will roll out a budget proposal in February for preliminary approval by March.

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