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Philadelphia School District Sees Wider Budget Gap, But Improving Situation


By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The School District of Philadelphia says its budget gap is even deeper than last month's figure of $61 million.  But they say they're also about halfway to closing it.

In a statement, the district says costs from layoffs and early retirements have pushed this year's budget gap from $61 million last month (see previous story) to $71 million now.

But the district also says it has cut about $32 million in current spending -- leaving a hole of about $39 million to close by the end of the year.

Those cuts already made include furlough days for nonunion employees, layoffs of per diem school police officers (see related story), and cutbacks in summer school programs.

SRC chair Pedro Ramos says that with no new money coming in, expenses have to be cut even more.

"We said we would be pursuing all options, because we have to," he told KYW Newsradio.

Those options include negotiating with its unions for more concessions than they've already made this year.

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