Activists swarm City Council meeting to demand money for schools

Mike Dougherty
May 08, 2018 - 9:39 pm
Tonya Bah, education chair for Neighborhood Networks, wants a full audit of the school budget.

Mike Dougherty | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A coalition of activists are demanding that big institutions in Philadelphia give their fair share for education in the city. 

Wealthy corporations like Independence Blue Cross and Comcast, as well as schools like Penn, Drexel and Temple, were called out by activists for not paying enough.

"The occupancy tax is something that needs to go up. City Council and the mayor need be looking at how to increase these things on big business," said Tonya Bah, education chair for Neighborhood Networks.

Bah believes the city also needs to do away with the 10-year property tax abatement, which could mean up to $385 million for schools over 10 years.

"The last time I checked, schools need to be paid for. We have dilapidated conditions. We have lead. We have asbestos," she said. "There is absolute wastefulness."

Her group wants a full audit of the school budget.

Bah added that if the current elected leaders don't step up and do the right thing, their term will be short-lived.