To fix crumbling schools Philly mayor and superintendent push tax hike

Mike DeNardo
May 22, 2018 - 11:54 am
Superintendent William Hite and Mayor Jim Kenney

Mike DeNardo-KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Mayor Jim Kenney says the Philadelphia School District would be able to repair more of its aging school buildings under his tax increase proposal.

Kenney pushed his school funding proposal during a visit to Logan Elementary, one of the district's schools most in need of repair. That was evident by the cracked asphalt and broken playground spring riders outside. 

Richard Washington, Logan's community schools coordinator, said, "We're very careful where our students play. Because if they trip or hurt themselves on a crack, those are things that we're hoping to get restored."

Logan Elementary is one of 19 in the district in line for major renovations. Principal Chuanika Sanders says her 94-year-old building needs work.

"Those bathrooms came with the building, so you can imagine. They're pretty outdated," Sanders said. 

Mayor Jim Kenney says the Philadelphia School District would be able to repair more of its aging school buildings under his tax increase proposal.
Mike DeNardo | KYW Newsradio

Mayor Jim Kenney says the Philadelphia School District would be able to repair more of its aging school buildings under his tax increase proposal.
Mike DeNardo | KYW Newsradio

The district would borrow an additional $150 million to fund expanded lead abatement, modernize electrical systems and upgrade playgrounds districtwide — if Kenney's budget proposal, which includes a real estate tax increase, is adopted by City Council. 

"The building upgrades are based on what the mayor has proposed," Hite said. "And so anything short of that naturally would put that at risk."

"It's up to elected adults to take care of our kids. And we put our proposal forward," Kenney said. 

The mayor says he's willing to negotiate with council, but the responsibility to fund schools is the city's. "We have to make a decision in this city, because it won't be made in Harrisburg, and it won't be made in Washington."