Mayor, council reach a deal on money for school district

michael nutter
Mayor Michael Nutter and city officials have reached a deal to bridge the school district’s funding gap.
Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

The impasse is over.

Mayor Michael Nutter and City Council President Darrell Clarke reached an agreement on how to supply the school district with its needed $50 million.

Essentially, Clarke won.

Nutter announced Wednesday that he signed Clarke’s bill, which approves the purchase of 24 shuttered school buildings from the School District of Philadelphia for $50 million. The district, which will retain ownership of the properties, will work with the Commerce Department to sell the buildings to recoup the city’s money. In the meantime, the city will transfer $60 million to the district earlier than usual to keep it from running low on dough.

The buildings will be up for sale sometime next week.

On the compromise, Nutter said he thinks Clarke is “fiscally conservative, and possibly liberal on some other issues, and we share that.”

Nutter said the two agreed the buildings needed to be disposed of as quickly as possible.

Nutter’s plan was to extend a sales tax and borrow from future revenue, but it never gained any favor.

Clarke said there has been significant interest in the properties, including three parties that have already offered to buy all of the 24 vacant properties in one deal.

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