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Stories tagged: Eye on the budget

From inside and out, a push for better fiscal oversight

By Paul Socolar on Sep 22, 2010 11:11 AM

This piece is from our October edition focused on school funding.


Philadelphia has no shortage of critics, particularly in the Pennsylvania legislature, who are eager to argue that city schools don’t deserve additional funds. The last thing that District officials want to do is to give these critics ammunition. That makes the job of overseeing Philadelphia’s $3.2 billion schools budget a high-stakes task.

At the SRC: Business as usual

By Helen Gym on Sep 22, 2010 11:55 AM

Despite promises for greater transparency, this month’s School Reform Commission meeting continues a troubling trend in “contract ratification,” the approval of contracts after the work is underway or, in some cases, already completed.

Fourteen of the 43 contract-related resolutions – one-third – on today’s SRC docket are ratifications (this number does not count resolutions that accept grants or approve policies).

Federal jobs bill averts needs for cuts

By Paul Socolar on Sep 15, 2010 02:12 PM

The District's budget is still balanced despite recent state funding cutbacks, Chief Financial Officer Michael Masch told the SRC Wednesday - mostly thanks to the August adoption of a federal education jobs bill that will send $98 million to Philadelphia.

More on the growth in central office

By Paul Socolar on May 27, 2010 07:23 PM

Last week we reported on District budget data that appears to show substantial growth in spending for administrative support since 2008-09, including growth in the number of administrative staff positions.

District budget ok'd despite uncertainty

By Paul Socolar on May 26, 2010 04:29 PM

The School Reform Commission approved a budget for 2010-11 today that assumes $148 million in additional revenue from the state and federal government, allowing for the continuation and expansion of the District's Imagine 2014 strategic plan.

How big is the central office?

By Paul Socolar on May 22, 2010 11:22 PM

The size of the School District's central office appears to be pretty much of a moving target in recent budget documents.

Ackerman quizzed about revenue worries

By Paul Socolar on May 10, 2010 08:26 PM

In sparsely attended City Council hearings on the 2010-11 School District budget Monday, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and Chief Business Officer Michael Masch said that District administrative and operational costs have already been cut by $76 million, but would be cut deeper if Gov. Rendell's proposed education funding increase for school districts is not fully funded.

Check out the big budget book

By Paul Socolar on May 6, 2010 01:29 PM

If you have an appetite for numbers, you might want to dig into the District's 431-page budget book, just posted on the District's website in time for upcoming City Council hearings next Monday and Tuesday at City Hall. Several other public meetings on the budget are scheduled, including one tonight at King H.S.

Community budget hearings coming up

By Paul Socolar on Apr 30, 2010 10:13 AM

The District is holding a series of community meetings in May to discuss its proposed $3.2 billion 2010-11 budget.

Budget forecast: Another year of growth

By Paul Socolar on Apr 21, 2010 09:56 PM

Unlike districts across the country that are grappling with teacher layoffs and harsh cutbacks, the School District of Philadelphia, in its $3.2 billion draft budget for 2010-11 released Wednesday, projects a third consecutive year of new and expanded offerings.

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