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Nutter headed to Harrisburg to talk school funding

The school district's $2.8 billion plan is short, and is looking for help.

School District of Philadelphia headquarters on North Broad Street. Credit: Wiki Commons. School District of Philadelphia headquarters on North Broad Street. Credit: Wiki Commons.

Last Friday, the School District released its 2014-2015 budget, which shows a $216 million shortfall. And to improve the schools, Superintendent William Hite said the district needs another $224, for a total of $440 million.

To get there, the district is asking for $75 million from the city, $150 million from the state, $95 million from labor concessions and $120 million raised from an extension of the 1 percent sales tax.

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On Monday, Mayor Michael Nutter visited Harrisburg to discuss an overhaul of the state's school funding formula, which is continually cited as an obstacle to add more school funding.

If the funding can't be met, the district will once again whip out the scissors. Notably special education services, nurses, school police, alternative education, transportation, facilities, and administration, are expected to get the axe. Transportation cuts would mean longer hours on the buses for students, and class sizes are expected to grow.

City Council has in the past pointed the finger at the state to find a solution, and said it's passed solutions the state won't move forward, and the state has pointed the finger back at City Council.

Nutter Spokesman Mark McDonald said Monday, "It's really time for the adults to take action in both Harrisburg and City Council."

 
 
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