Philly schools sign accountability agreement

    The Philadelphia school district has agreed to make its finances more transparent as it seeks help in closing a $629 million deficit. The School Reform Commission signed an “education accountability agreement” yesterday with state Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis and Mayor Michael Nutter.

    Tomalis says the accord gives state and city officials unprecedented access to data in the district’s nearly $2.8 billion budget. The move is the latest in the education funding crisis that led to 3,000 district employees receiving pink slips earlier this week. More than 1,500 teachers could be laid off.

    Officials say the agreement does not guarantee additional funds for the district, whose fiscal woes stem from proposed cuts in state aid, loss of federal stimulus money and the weak economy.

    Check Dave Davies’ latest Off Mic blog: Nutter’s shotgun wedding with the school district.

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