School Reform Commission adopts $2.39B budget

Philadelphia School District Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. is calling for the city and state to help maintain school programs through extra aid. (file photo)
Philadelphia School District Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. is calling for the city and state to help maintain school programs through extra aid. Credit: Metro file photo

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission on Thursday voted to adopt a $2.39 billion operating budget for the 2013-14 school year.

The spending plan can be amended should the district receive aid it has requested — aid that officials claim is essential for the district to maintain current programs.

“This budget does not meet our expectations for every school to deliver high-quality educational programs and opportunities. We are hopeful that we will find a resolution in the coming weeks to provide our students with the education they deserve,” Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said in a statement.

The district is seeking an additional $60 million from the city and $120 million for the state. It also is looking to make $133 million in personnel cuts through negotiations with labor unions and reductions of nonrepresented positions.

The “doomsday” budget, as it has been called, approved by the SRC on Thursday, would result in severe cuts to arts, athletics, music and other programs.

“Philadelphia students deserve a safe, high-quality education that will prepare them for college and career,” Pedro A. Ramos, SRC chairman, said. “The new SRC has not shied away from tough decisions and reducing costs, but we cannot fulfill our duty to children if funding is so dramatically inadequate.”


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