Philadelphia schools ask City Council to help patch hole in budget

The Philadelphia School District faces a $600 million funding shortfall. That’s about 20 percent of the budget. So school leaders asked City Council for help.

Despite having made deep cuts, Chief Financial Officer Mike Masch said the Philadelphia schools still need money to avoid scaling back kindergarten to a half day or slashing transportation spending.

“Our problem next year is not a spending problem it’s a funding problem,” said Masch. “The revenues available to us this year will be about 3.1 billion next year we project the revenues available to us will be a little over $2.7 billion.”

Councilman Bill Greenlee said if council does give the district $50 million extra, programs in the city will suffer.

“It’s going to be very difficult to be perfectly honest with you, some of that $50 million  is obviously is going to be programs in the general fund that people don’t want to see cut, libraries, rec centers that sort of thing,” said Greenlee.

Council has not committed to give the district the extra funds, although many individual members say the city should do something.

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