Local/State

Parents, students weigh in on Phila. school budget

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The public got the chance to speak out Wednesday on the school district's request for up to $110 million from the city of Philadelphia.

"Why there are not parents protesting and shutting this city down, I don't know," said Ann Guise.

Parents, students and religious leaders appealed to council to find the $75 to $110 million the School District says it needs to restore full day Kindergarten and student transportation.

"We all know this is an assault on urban America and education by, not just Pennsylvania, but state governments all around the country," Emmanuel Bussie said.

Where to find the money? Some said they were willing to see other city services cut or raise taxes because the children are worth it.

When asked if his congregation would support a tax hike, Rev. Robert Collier said, "We would not oppose higher taxes because it would benefits children in the long run."

The Mayor said on Tuesday that he backed the $75 to $110 million request of school Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, but some council members seemed skeptical, questioning why Ackerman has cut some programs but spared others.

"We're still waiting to hear back from them on a number of questions about the ethics of programs they are maintaining instead of full day kindergarten," said Councilman Bill Green.

The sense is that many on council are still not yet certain what to do concerning the school district's request.

"I've learned nothing else since yesterday, said Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.

Just where the money for the School District will come from is an open question, with council members waiting to hear from the Mayor.

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Tags:
philadelphia school district, philadelphia city council, philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state
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