November 21: School funding woes | Property tax relief | Transportation funding update | Refurbished PATCO car returns | Report: wind energy saves water, emissions

Good morning, Eyes on the Street! 

The school district does not have enough revenue to adequately educate students, the district’s chief financial advisor and the chief education officer for the mayor’s office told the City Council Education Committee Wednesday. In response, The Notebook reported, “City Council members were surly, questioning the relationship between money and achievement and expressing their irritation that Stanski couldn’t tell them exactly how much money the District will be asking for next year…” 

Legislation that will provide some relief to Philadelphia homeowners whose property taxes skyrocketed because of neighborhood gentrification was approved in Harrisburg. The bill will limit assistance based on a means test. The program is expected to launch in the next few weeks.

The $2.3 billion transportation funding bill is moving its way through Harrisburg. After being approved by the House on Tuesday, it moved to Senate where it was also approved. It needs one more vote in the House and a signature from Governor Corbett before it is complete.

The first of PATCO’s refurbished railcars has arrived in Lindenwold for final testing. It is expected to carry passengers by February. The entire fleet of 120 cars is in the midst of a $194 million makeover that is supposed to be complete by October 2016. 

A new report finds that wind energy in Pennsylvania saves water and helps avoid pollution that contributes to climate change. The PennEnvironment report says that the state’s two dozen wind farms annually save nearly 600 million gallons of water that would be needed to cool power plants and avoids emissions that the plants would produce. 

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