Schools funding a big unanswered question in Philly budget hearings

Listen

As Philadelphia City Council holds budget hearings, funding the city schools continues to be a big question mark. 

Councilman Wilson Goode asked Philadelphia Finance Director Rob Dubow about how the city will pay for public schools if the legislature in Harrisburg does not approve a proposed city cigarette tax. 

“As we look towards the end of the budget process when we may be looking for more money for schools, who should be excluded from having to pay for schools?” Good asked.

“Our strong preference is that it not come from the general fund that it not be at the expense of other services of the city,” Dubow replied.

When Councilman Goode pressed the issue, Dubow responded.

“Other than not being supportive of it not coming from the general fund and not being supportive of a broad-based tax increase like a real estate tax increase, I don’t think we’ve gone into more depth than that,” he said.

The school district is counting on $120 million from a sales tax extension, however council wants to dedicate half of that money to refilling the under-funded city employee pension accounts.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.