Councilman Curtis Jones, whose Fourth District includes Manayunk, Roxborough and East Falls, is stepping us the heat behind his stand in favor of Council action to raise money for schools.
In a front-page story in today’s Inquirer, Jones is quoted criticizing colleagues on Council for speaking out only to oppose ideas that others, mostly Mayor Nutter, have proposed to close part of the $629 million shortfall in next year’s budget.
The paper quotes Jones as saying: “Everybody’s saying no to this, no to that, but what are you proposing to do to save the schools? Legislators have the luxury of being for reducing taxes and supporting schools without the burden of figuring out how to do it.”
You can read the full Inquirer story here.
Council has until June 30 to take action. Nutter has asked Council to pass a new levy on sugar-sweetened drinks, AKA the “soda tax,” or to increase property taxes, or to come up with its own ideas to raise approximately $102 million to save school programs.
Workers and businesspeople associated with the soda industry have protested and lobbied hard against the soda tax, which would increase the cost of a two-liter bottle of regular Coke by $1:35.
The mayor gave a short televised address last night, asking citizens to urge Council to “take a vote for our students, a vote for the young people of our city.
The deficit is fueled by the loss of federal stimulus funds, cuts in state aid included in Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget, and the district’s inability to curb costs in the current school year.