Philadelphia School District expects to have to make tough budget choices because of pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) The School District of Philadelphia expects its revenues to be way down from the impact of the coronavirus, and that's going to mean difficult decisions as it draws up next year's budget.  

Tough choices lie ahead as the district puts next year's budget together in the middle of a pandemic. 

Superintendent William Hite said with the mayor now reworking his budget, the district is trying to project the money it will have coming in. Hite said with bars and restaurants closed, $2 million a week in liquor-by-the drink revenue is evaporating. 

He expects business use and occupancy taxes in the city will be down, as well as state revenues.

"If those revenue sources change, naturally we're going to have to change some things that we do. I'm anticipating we're going to be operating through some pretty significant financial challenges,” Hite said. 

Hite said he doesn't know how much federal stimulus money may be available to help to fill the gaps. 

Last month, the district projected for this year a $154 million fund balance — that's money left over after obligations are satisfied. Hite said that safety net can help to hold the district over until revenues flow in again.