PICA says Philly finances doing better, schools still in big trouble

As the budget process in Philadelphia nears a conclusion, the group that oversees the city’s finances is cleaning off its magnifying glass to take a look.

Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority head Sam Katz says with the city receiving a boost to its bond rating this week, taking care of the public schools appears to be the biggest problem. He says the city, state and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) all need to all be part of the solution.

“Frankly, with the absence of any movement by the PFT on the call for some concessions, and clearly with a much smaller capacity and willingness of the state, against the $120 million, some significant portion of the budget cuts which I think will be extremely difficult for the parents and students to deal with are likely to be in place by September,” said Katz.

Katz says he’s not sure what that will mean for students.

“What kind of school system that will look like is hard to say, but not one that we would have hoped for,” he said.

The PICA board does not have direct oversight of the district’s finances.

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