Philadelphia, December 19, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued the following statement on the School District of Philadelphia’s proposed Five-Year Financial Plan:
“First, I want to commend Superintendent Dr. William Hite and the School District team for taking a responsible approach to the District’s disheartening and precarious financial situation by drafting a five-year plan based on known revenue. While this plan maintains the current level of insufficient and basic services for our students and schools, including two years of painful cuts, it will still produce a $30 million deficit for the District this year and a $374 million shortfall over the course of the plan.
This plan won’t allow the District to make the critical investments in education that it wants and needs to improve outcomes for our children. In a separate plan, the District outlined that it would need more than $305 million in new revenue in FY16 to increase investments for school-level programs and underperforming schools and ultimately bring the District closer to meeting its goals. We applaud the District in earmarking potential dollars for these important, outcome-improving programs that will be informed by the local school leadership and best-practices.
In either plan, the School District will need new revenue from both the City – on top of the $357 million annual increase in public school funding since 2008, the largest investment in public schools by the City in 30 years – and the Commonwealth, whose funding for public education has not kept pace with that of the City. Additionally, Philadelphia and every other school district across Pennsylvania needs a fair and full funding formula to ensure that our children are able to get the high-quality education they deserve.
I will continue to work with City Council, the State legislature, Governor-elect Tom Wolf and the School District of Philadelphia to improve the level of education and services we are able to provide for our young people.”