Because of that, Hite held a press conference Friday morning with Democratic US Representative Dwight Evans to announce the stimulus money, but also with state lawmakers speaking about the need to change the funding of schools in Pennsylvania.
Sharif Street, a Philadelphia Democrat, said Governor Tom Wolf plans to increase government education aid by $ 1.4 billion and push all of that forward through the 2014 lawmaker’s fair funding formula. Now only new money or 11% of aid is determined by the formula – a compromise to prevent some districts, especially those with declining enrollments, from losing money. A “liability exemption clause” prevents one district from becoming less than last year.
This costs Philadelphia hundreds of millions of dollars a year, Street said at the press conference held at the concrete playground of Fitler Academics Plus, a historic school in Germantown. Only in Pennsylvania, he said, would lawmakers create a “fair funding formula” and then not apply it. “It’s an absurdity,” he said.
The board of directors unanimously passed the “flat budget” of 3 billion US dollars on Thursday evening. It will hold a budget hearing next month and appear before the city council in May, which will adopt tax measures for the schools by the end of the month. The final state budget is not due until the end of June.
During the meeting, Board President Joyce Wilkerson urged parents and activists to campaign for Harrisburg to change the funding formula for charter schools and give cyber-charters less money and revise reimbursement for special education, which would save the city $ 61 million .
“This is much-needed funding that the district can invest directly in students and schools,” she said.