Radio Times host Marty Moss-Coane spent the morning talking with the Public School Notebook‘s Dale Mezzacappa and the Inquirer‘s Kristen Graham about the state of Philadelphia’s public school funding.
Many guests called in, but one in particular had a point to make: Mayor Michael Nutter.
It’s “really imperative,” he said, that we make the case for public education instead of focusing on the School District’s $629 million budget gap.
Nutter said the District has made significant cuts to come up with its budget, and the city would only be filling gaps in programs that were cut. Things like full-day kindergarten, bus transportation and accelerated schools are at issue here, Nutter said, not the budget gap as a whole.
“No one is talking about the kinds of things I see throughout the school year,” he said, citing a recent visit to the new Promise Academy at Ethel Allen. Things have improved quite a bit there, he said, and as he tours schools Nutter says it’s clear the students know what’s going on with the battle for funding and that “adults are not doing the right thing by them.”
The mayor says he’ll lobby once more for state funding when he returns to Harrisburg soon, but has called on Philadelphians to reach out to the general assembly and city council members to stress the need for support.
And yes, he acknowledges the “challenges” and “concerns” about the District: “We’ll deal with those issues, but do not shortchange those kids.”
You can catch the full broadcast later today right here.