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.

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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