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School District Pleads With City Council For Extra Funding

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- School District leaders met with City Council members Thursday, to try to persuade them to support Mayor Nutter's Actual Value tax plan and the extra $94-million it would provide for the district.

Without the $94-million, the district says it's not clear whether schools will be able to open in September.

Council education committee chair Jannie Blackwell isn't sold yet.

"Tom Knudsen says, Pedro Ramos says, 'We need $94 million.' We still don't know how they intend to spend it."

City Councilman Bill Green asked district leaders why they were looking to the city.

"What I want to know is, why you are here with us instead if up in Harrisburg getting us additional resources?"

School Reform Commission Chair Pedro Ramos assured Green that they were.

"We're asking for help from everybody in every way that they can."

There were no AVI promises from Council. Councilman Curtis Jones wanted to be sure that any extra money would be well spent.

"How do we then have a degree of accountability, assurability (sic) that what we are paying for, we actually get?"

Ramos said after the meeting the district would be posting individual school budgets to illustrate that after mandated expenses, there isn't much more to cut. "I think we have articulated it and we're continuing to make it clearer and clearer not just to Council, but to the world."

Ramos says the answer is the SRC's five-year plan that would get the district back to structural balance.

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