For the second year in a row, the Philadelphia School District is facing a doomsday budget. Without a $216 million cash infusion, classrooms will swell to 41 students and more than 1,000 employees will be laid off. At the same time, more cuts will be made to special education and school nurses. It is because of this dire situation that Philadelphia Jobs for Justice organized a community meeting on Saturday, May 31st at the Monumental Baptist Church, 50th and Locust Streets, to discuss the need for the University of Pennsylvania and other large meds and eds to pay PILOTS.
And, $216 million is merely the bare bones number the school district needs to stay afloat. Superintendent William Hite Jr. has said the district needs at least $440 million to improve the most basic infrastructure conditions.
At the same time, property taxes have more than doubled in many neighborhoods. Still, there remains a shortage of funding.