Philadelphia school board adopts a budget as state funding fills a shortfall

Mike DeNardo
May 29, 2020 - 4:00 am
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) The Philadelphia School District's budget has been on a roller coaster ride the last few days. But the district appears to be standing on solid financial ground, for now.

A few days ago, the district was getting ready to adopt a budget for next year that assumed that revenues from the state would be way down because of COVID-19. 

It was banking on $57 million from Mayor Kenney's proposed real estate tax hike to avoid a deficit. 

Council President Darrell Clarke then warned the board it would be "unwise" to assume that Council would approve the tax increase in a pandemic economy. 

Related: Philadelphia school board adopts a budget as state funding fills a shortfall

But the state legislature agreed to hold school funding at current levels for the next year, which gave the district $70 million it didn't think it would have. 

Hearing that, the mayor Thursday withdrew his real estate tax hike request

The result is that the school board was able to adopt a balanced $3.5 billion budget.

"Better than we were before, but obviously facing some significant financial challenges,” said district chief financial officer Uri Monson.

Monson said because expenses are outpacing revenues, the district is facing a $705 million deficit in five years.