Mayor continues to push budget proposal in effort to repair schools

Mike DeNardo
June 04, 2018 - 8:11 pm
 Mayor Kenney is continuing to push his budget proposal, which he says would allow the school district to repair its aging buildings.

Mike DeNardo | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Mayor Jim Kenney is continuing to push his budget proposal, which he said would allow the school district to repair its aging buildings.  

Wilson Middle School in Northeast Philadelphia opened in 1927. Principal Stephanie Ressler said it's a challenge to teach 21st-century technology in her 91-year-old building.

"When you talk about classrooms, they have only one electrical outlet," she said. "We need more than that."

 Mayor Kenney is continuing to push his budget proposal, which he says would allow the school district to repair its aging buildings.
Mike DeNardo | KYW Newsradio

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan said districtwide, building conditions are even worse.

"Our children should not be attending schools where there is asbestos, dust," he said.

Kenney's budget proposal — which includes a real estate tax increase — if adopted, would allow the district to borrow $150 million, according to Superintendent William Hite.

"This funding would allow us to immediately hire contractors to remove peeling, crumbling and flaking paint," Hite said.

But will that happen? The mayor would not get specific when asked about his negotiations with City Council.

"There's not really a number I could tell you right now," Kenney said. "We're getting closer to it, and hopefully we'll get all of it."