Could the city of Philadelphia’s contribution to the struggling school district be tied to the state’s?
Even though there isn’t yet a formal request for $60 million from the city for the schools, Council President Darrell Clarke says district representatives will ask officially in May.
In addition to asking the city for $60 million, the School District District of Philadelphia is seeking $120 million from the state to help fill the its $300 million budget shortfall.
City Finance Director Rob Dubow believes the city will have to act first because the state generally takes longer to move on budget requests from the district. Sometimes those delays extend beyond the city’s budget deadline.
“We hope the state acts and acts quickly,” Dubow said. “Given the way their process usually works, I doubt that we will hear anything from the state until the end of June. So I think we’ll have to make any proposal earlier than when the state process is over.”
Clarke told Dubow he wants the option to tie the city’s commitment to providing additional money for the schools to the state coming through with funding.
“The package deal could be incorporated in a way that would be contingent on state funding,” Clarke suggested.
“I think we should have discussions on the best way to do that,” Dubow replied.
In the past city funding has always been separate from state school funding.