Philadelphia schools facing $304M shortfall

Philadelphia School District Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. is calling for "shared sacrifice" in the face of a $304 million budget shortfall. (file photo)
Philadelphia School District Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. is calling for “shared sacrifice” in the face of a $304 million budget shortfall. Credit: File photo

The Philadelphia School District called for the city and state to “step forward” and help to bridge a $304 million budget shortfall for the 2014 fiscal year.

The school district announced the budget shortfall Thursday evening after the School Reform Commission approved a lump sum budget that shows roughly $2.66 billion in obligations and roughly $2.35 billion in revenues.

The district, which plans to release a more detailed budget in April, is calling for “shared sacrifice.”

“I am deeply aware of the painful and real sacrifices that our students and parents have made in the last two years as we cut school budgets, reduced services and closed schools,” said Superintendent William R. Hite. “That is why we must now ask others to step forward and join in shared sacrifice to improve academic outcomes and maintain a stable public school system over the long term.”

The district is seeking to cut $133 million in personnel costs and to garner $180 million more in financial aid from the city and state. It says it can’t cut much more from Philadelphia schools, having already closed 31 schools in the past year and eliminated roughly 400 central office positions over the last two years.


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