No financial returns from roadtrip to Harrisburg for Philly schools, but still hope

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 Philadelphia City Council President, Darrell Clarke (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia City Council President, Darrell Clarke (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The leader of Philadelphia City Council took a road trip to Harrisburg Tuesday in search of additional funding sources for the city, but did not return with any commitments. 

Council President Darrell Clarke isn’t talking much about the results of his lobbying trip to Harrisburg. 

“I’ve learned the simple reality is as it relates to trying to get some support from the state is it’s best practices to keep the conversation relatively tight as it relates to members of the General Assembly and not have a negotiation in the public,” Clarke said Wednesday. 

The goal of the trip to the Capitol was to secure more money for the Philadelphia School District that has been reduced to operating on what the superintendent calls “a doomsday” budget.

“We will be moving toward the passage of our sales-tax extension bill. The additional dollars that are requested from the school district have been targeted to be the cigarette tax revenues as per the conversation with the Nutter administration at the last hearing,” Clarke said. “But we’ll have to wait and see. There’s a process going on in the state that we have no control over.” 

If the proposed city cigarette tax is not approved in Harrisburg, it will put the city in the position of the trying to find $75 million more for the schools.

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