Philadelphia controller says school distict In huge financial hole

Philadelphia’s city controller has some serious concerns about the school district’s finances.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz says to balance its books by summer, the Philadelphia School District needs to cut spending by $400,000 — a day. He says each day the district fails to find savings, the need to cut gets worse.

“Not talking about it, not thinking about it, not hypothesizing about it, actually getting (worse) every day,” he said. “Because if you don’t get it saved today, you have to save $800,000 tomorrow, etc.”

Butkovitz said the district needs a plan to restore financial stability or he will question whether the district can “continue as a going concern.” Sending that message to Wall Street could make it hard, or at least very expensive, for the district to borrow money, he said.

“They have to show that they’ve got the cash to make it through the 12-month fiscal year that ends in June,” Butkovitz said. “By their own management admission, they are going to run out of cash by July, or in July.”

School district officials say they will address the items brought up by the controller. A representative maintains the district is not in danger of missing any debt payments or being unable to pay employees.

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