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Philly schools getting far less than requested as Pa. Senate advances budget

by thenotebook on Jun 29 2013 Posted in Latest news

by Holly Otterbein for Newsworks

The Pennsylvania Senate has advanced a budget that increases Philadelphia's basic education funding by $14 million next year, far short of the additional $120 million requested by School District officials.

The GOP-led Senate Appropriations Committee approved the spending plan Saturday night, 16-10. It must now be approved by the full Senate and House.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) said that the budget makes a "significant investment" in schools, including more than $120 million in new basic education funding statewide.

"As always, there's areas that we would like to have probably made stronger investments in," Corman said. "But we can only spend what we have."

Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia) said that the budget is inadequate.


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Comments (27)

Submitted by Philly Parent and Teacher (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 00:04.

If this is the final budget for 2012-2013, not only did Corbett and the PA Legislature fail the families and student of Philadelphia but also City Council and Nutter. Instead of focusing on the Use and Occupancy Tax, City Council took the easy road with the cigarette tax. Now, if the cigarette tax does not pass, the only place left is the teachers' union.

Sure, some of the wealthy schools like Penn Alexander, Meredith, Masterman, Central, SLA, etc. will rally their families and raise a lot of money. (Masterman has already raised $25,000). Meanwhile, neighborhood schools, especially those without viable home and school associations, will have nothing. Teachers will be expected to pay more out of pocket while our pay checks are cut.

Where's the "shared sacrifice" now?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 06:23.

I hope you're not a teacher because you obviously haven't learned how to think before acting/speaking.

Submitted by feudi pandola (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 09:21.

This week's issue of The Economist highlights the revolutionary changes that technology is bringing to the educational process. Massive open online courses using best practices and the very best teachers have been a boon to higher education and SHOULD soon be used at the K thru 12 level IF we can break through the incredible resistance thrown up by the teachers unions and the administrators who are both protecting their "turf" rather than truly caring about educating children. In addition to MOOCS, there are many other internet based tools that never, ever get mentioned in this debate on school funding.
What it proves is what is obvious. Money is NOT The problem and never was. The problem is the unions and the administration that refuses to come into the 21st. Century.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 09:46.

Teachers and principals have always embraced technological advances. So have their unions.

Your anti teacher animus is dripping from your post. No matter how education is delivered and what role technology and on line courses plays in a comprehensive education K-12, you still need knowledgeable and highly educated teachers to design it, deliver it, monitor it, and assess it.

Just about everyone I have ever known who is an effective teacher understands that effective teaching is a result of the interrelationships between a real live teacher and his or her real live students. It is not an imaginary process as you seem to think.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 13:48.

Exactly Rich. the anti union bias is so transparent in a post not necessarily dealing with unions. It's like the far right wing that keeps returning to social issues.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 10:43.

I hope the Education Law Center is poised to file suit against the state of PA as they are refusing to meet their obligations to provide a thorough and efficient education to the most vulnerable children. This is a disgrace! Don't know how they can sleep at night.

Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 11:07.

The law suit saying the state has to provide more money is a non-starter.

IT HAS ALREADY BEEN LITIGATED!!. Ralph Cappy a Democrat from Allegheny County and then our Chief Justice decided the issue in the 1990s in a suit brought by rural school district which by the way spend much less per student that the SDP.

He found there was no evidence that more money equals better education. He cited things like the best performing states like North Dakota and New Hampshire actually are in the bottom of per student funding. It is a stunning rejection of the idea that more money equal a more through and efficient education.

Now the New Jersey Supreme Court reached the exact opposite conclusion. I think in suits like this though out American came out like 20-10 in favor of more state funding but Pennsylvania has already decided that more money does not equal better educational outcomes. That case is never getting overturned.

And with the record of the SDP do you blame them?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 11:17.

Conditions are different now than in the 90s. For one thing, the district wasn't operating under a state take over. Art and music in schools wasn't about to become a thing of the distant past. At the very least, they are obligated to provide safe schools, which won't exist without NTAs to supervise lunch rooms.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 15:03.

Per pupil spending has increased over 100% per pupil since 2001 in Philadelphia while inflation is only up 30%.

That is a big hurdle to jump to win a suit that the state isn't funding enough.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:19.

Source of your figures please? Or is this something you conjured in your mind to fit your prejudices?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 20:06.

Fact: $14,318/ $6,969 > 100%

"In 2000, the Philadelphia school district spent $6,969 a year per student"

Based on expenditure and fall enrolment data, Philadelphia charter schools spent an average of $12,794 in 2010-11. Assuming all Philadelphia charter school funding came from the Philadelphia school district (this is not the case, as charter schools have other revenue sources) and with fall enrollment of more 166,000, Philadelphia spent more than $14,318 per student in district-run schools.

I'll let you calculate the inflation rate of 31% from the BLS yourself. I'm not the one trying to manipulate facts to fit rhetoric...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 21:23.

Anonymous - Go ahead and have the ELC file a lawsuit. The PA superior and supreme court are stacked with republicans. LOL there.

Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 11:21.

Since I know all the non lawyer know better than I do do here is the Supreme Court cite:

Pennsylvania Ass’n of Rural and Small Sch. v. Ridge, 558 Pa. 374, 737 A.2d 246 (Pa. 1999).

Actually I was wrong about Cappy he did NOT even bother to write an opinion just adopted the finding of the Commonwealth Court which said there is no no requirement in the Pa Constitution for equal Education Funding.

You can read the 148 page opinion Commonwealth Court which says take a hike to poor rural schools and the findings apply equally to Philly.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 12:44.

Well then! I guess it's time for a Revolution!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 12:55.

The entire Declaration is here.

Click on "Show more".

Submitted by Urban teacher (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 13:10.

To save money, now is the time to cancel SDP virtual charter academy and any Charter school openings and renewals!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 13:50.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 13:52.

IF something like ths goes through I'd advise (and it's only a personal comment) not to even show up in he Fall. Keep the kids home.

Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 14:49.

SRC Cancels Today's Meeting

I guess the SRC no longer believes that Santa is loading up his sled with Goodies in Harrisburg for delivery before the layoffs take effect.


Do not know what will happen next but Philadelphia has zero clout in Harrisburg. Seen any Philadelphia politicians on PCN when the people really running this state talk about the budget?? No one from Philly in the room.

I think also we plead our case badly. If you go to the Pa budget blogs their are numerous people predicting apocalypse now if Noon Time Aids and NTAs are not in our halls. This make no impression in places like Tioga or Luzerne counties because they employ no such employees in their hallways.

Noon Time Aide sounds to them like a job some mother should voluntarily perform. They do not understand that our parents do not volunteer for things like report card days, feeding their own kids three meals or making sure the children are home by three AM. Heck our parents refuse to voluntarily release their phone numbers. When advised of the lack of parental involvement the response tends not to be let's send those poor overworked parents in Philadelphia more of our tax dollars. Especially since city council has come up with no money; only a fake plan to have the state impose cigarette taxes.

We need a different narrative to justify more money. Having pictures on the news of 250lbs Noon time aides participating in a "hunger strike" that apparently does not involve weight loss is not a compelling narrative outside of Philadelphia.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 17:09.

I know it's not allowed these days, but the comments about the hunger strikers are very racist. Obesity is very related to poverty.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 21:18.

Poogie - Thank you for an excellent post. Like you , I keep on sounding like a broken record.

1. Philly has NO voice in Harrisburg.
2. Everybody outside Philly does NOT care about SDP, other than not to give them MORE money.
3. Noon Time Aids. You mean volunteers like parents to be more active in their schools with a physical presence and to pull playground duty along with the teachers.
4. I thoroughly understand your comments from the folks in Tioga county. Philly is a galaxy away for them.

Anonymous - Obesity is a serious problem in this country. Folks like Michele Obama and the like are trying to promote healthy eating in our schools and the parents and kids throw it back in her face by wanting pizza instead of veggies.

Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on Mon, 07/01/2013 - 08:53.

I think the SDP is where it always wanted to be today.

There is a fake plan of state aid that involves strings from the state to have the PFT give up seniority, pay and healthcare. Cuts by teachers are needed to fix the cesspool our own leader Mr. Hite is fond of calling his own organization. Leadership at its finest.

But if the real plan is lower the wages and benefits of the PFT members which will also lower the wages of charter school teachers than Hite is a genius and the people he really represents are pleased today.

If you like me believe the whole point of this was to squeeze PFT LIVING STANDARDS and by extensions lower charter school teacher wages so that the profits of his Charter Management Company bosses go up up up,

Hite is getting a big bonus in a year or so. He is genius to his true employers.

Nutter is another genius. there is no city contribution whatsoever to this plan and watch there will be none. Why did the dumb PFT give this guy campaign support?????

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 21:40.

Does Philadelphia have a voice with the Democratic President they voted in?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 21:47.

Yeah, our voice is Mayor Nutter...and Obama and Duncan agree with him.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/30/2013 - 22:37.

Along with Anthony Williams and Dwight Evans.

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