With much less drama, Philly school board looks at next year's budget

Mike DeNardo
March 30, 2019 - 4:00 am
School District of Philadelphia

Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio, file


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The Philadelphia school board has approved a preliminary version of next year's budget -- minus the drama that accompanied budgets five and six years ago.

Five and six years ago, the district was forced to slash programs and close schools to address rising charter and pension costs. 

Now, there was much less controversy as the board approved the annual statement of anticipated expenses and revenues called a "lump sum" budget.

The district's $3.4 billion budget includes $96 million more for charters and $68 million more for salaries and benefits. 

The district expects to get $64 million more from city real estate taxes and a $33 million bump in the City grant. 

Superintendent William Hite says that recurring funding has made the difference.

 "It's a product of all funders stepping up to help, who stepped up to help three and four years ago when we were showing them what the outlook was three and four years from that time frame," he said.

After investing money on early literacy programs over the last three years, Hite plans to spend more to improve the math curriculum, add college and career coordinators and to hire more nurses.