Council president can't promise a smooth ride for Philly school funding

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — School District of Philadelphia leaders are asking City Council to maintain education funding, as it considers Mayor Jim Kenney's revised budget.

Uri Monson, the district’s chief financial officer, told Council at its virtual budget hearing that the outlook for Philly schools is a little better than an April projection showing a $1 billion deficit over five years.

But the district, in next year's spending plan, makes the assumption that Mayor Kenney's budget — revised for revenue drops during the pandemic — will get Council's okay. 

School Board President Joyce Wilkerson backed the mayor's new plan.

"It would provide predictable funding for our schools. Our children deserve nothing less,” she said.

But Council President Darrell Clarke said the mayor's revised budget — which proposes increases in property, parking and non-resident wage taxes — won’t get a smooth ride through Council.

"Our ability to stick our hands in the taxpayers' pocket is not the same this time around. Because a lot of those pockets are empty,” he said.

The district adopts its budget next week, a month before the city and state budgets are to be finalized.