As Philly School District deadline looms, politicians petition Corbett

City and state officials send letter to Gov. Tom Corbett requesting the state release the promised $45 million grant. Rikard Larma/METRO
City and state officials send letter to Gov. Tom Corbett requesting the state release the promised $45 million grant. Rikard Larma/METRO

Mayor Michael Nutter, City Council President Darrell Clarke and state officials petitioned Gov. Tom Corbett yesterday to issue the $45 million grant the city was promised.

The state said it won’t issue the money, which is intended to fund the cash-strapped schools, until the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers agrees to contact concessions. The $45 million was made possible after the federal government forgave state debt,

Part of the School Reform Commission and Schools Superintendent William Hite’s solution to its budget woes included about $133 million in union givebacks.

Hite issued a threat last week: either the district receives $50 million, or schools won’t open on Sept. 9. If schools don’t receive confirmation by Friday that the money is on its way, the district will start delay plans.

Clark added that “We will have a response” by Friday.

“Dr. Hite asked for a commitment, and we anticipate giving him a commitment.”

Since a union agreement most likely won’t be met by Friday, Nutter and Clarke has suggested alternatives. Nutter wants to borrow the money against an extension of a city sales tax set to expire after 2013.

While Clarke wants the city to buy $50 million of the school district’s property.


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