School funds coming, Parking Authority says
by Stephen Kummerling
After meeting with Mayor Nutter, Philadelphia Parking Authority leaders said December 17 that they would give $1.25 million to the School District this fiscal year with another $1.75 million the following year. This will be the PPA's first contribution for schools since 2004.
The payment comes after the advocacy group Parents United for Public Education, backed by other organizations, launched a campaign calling attention to the PPA's unfulfilled promise to provide schools with $20 million over a five-year period.
The majority of money for schools comes from reserves the PPA kept for self-insurance.
Demands for the PPA to act grew after The Inquirer and the Daily News ran several articles highlighting the struggle and reporting on the high salaries and generous benefits of the PPA's top executives, as well as the rapid increase in its payroll since the state's takeover in 2001.
Helen Gym, a founder of Parents United for Public Education, commented, "I think there's a lot more [money] that could be there. It's what was settled on at the time, given a lot of public pressure."
PPA spokesperson Linda J. Miller called the deal "a good step in the right direction," and added that "we're definitely on target for the amount that we said we would give."
According to current laws, the city is entitled to the first $25 million in profit generated from "on-street parking funds." The District is eligible to receive PPA profits in excess of this.