175G set to save programs

Posted: February 10, 2012

HEY, KIDS, here's some good news:

Mayor Nutter, other city officials and the school district announced yesterday that they have struck a deal to save weekend recreational programs, athletic and cultural activities.

The city will dish out $175,000 to maintain the programs. Some schools will remain open on the weekends and until 9 p.m. on weekdays through March 17, Nutter said. The city will consolidate and shift Recreation Department programming from 83 schools to 48. School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos expects there would be an estimated total savings of $1.2 million.

"We're analyzing Gov. Corbett's budget proposal and what that means for both the school district and the city," Nutter said, adding that city officials are also looking at the current and following fiscal-year budget gaps. "We will have to be that much more creative in our efforts to do the kind of programming that we want, more importantly provide for the kinds of programs and services that the children in the school-age population here deserve."

The announcement comes after the district recently announced it would cancel weekend programs and shutter schools an hour earlier during the week to save an estimated $2.8 million to help close a $61 million budget gap by June.

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