June 26, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - A House panel on Tuesday advanced a $29.1 billion budget, setting the stage for final negotiations with the Senate and Gov. Corbett on the 2014-15 spending plan. The Appropriations Committee voted, 21-14, along party lines to move the proposal to the House floor, but it is likely to undergo significant changes before reaching Corbett's desk. The bill proposes to close a $1.5 billion budget gap by transferring funds from other sources, including the sale of state liquor stores - a plan that hasn't materialized.
June 25, 2014
ISSUE | SCHOOL FUNDING As Phila. goes, so goes the state The tragedy of the Philadelphia public schools is the result of the failure of the government of the commonwealth to perform one of its basic functions: to provide for quality education for all of its residents. With a scandalous 25 percent poverty rate and resulting weak tax base, Philadelphia is clearly incapable of raising all of the money necessary to provide for a successful School District and at the same time meet all the other needs of the city.
June 25, 2014 |
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is getting a makeover. It wants new health ideas to go viral. It wants partners in business and government to magnify its impact. And it seeks game-changing ideas from inventors to improve doctor visits and reshape medicine into a "Culture of Health. " The nation's largest health philanthrophy has long been focused on discreet health problems such as smoking and obesity. But in a major policy shift publicly discussed Wednesday for the first time, the Princeton-based foundation is seeking to up its game and inspire mass movements.
June 20, 2014 |
THE PHILADELPHIA School District is a step closer to avoiding devastating cuts, thanks to a surprising move by City Council yesterday, although the district is not out of the woods yet. Council authorized the city to borrow $27 million on behalf of the district for this fiscal year. It also introduced a last-minute bill that would authorize the city to borrow another $30 million for the district next fiscal year to help close a $96 million deficit. The second piece of borrowing legislation comes a week after city lawmakers vowed not to borrow more than $27 million to aid the distressed district.
June 19, 2014 |
WITH ABOUT two weeks left until they must pass a budget, Philadelphia School District officials continued a full-court press yesterday for more funding, urging city lawmakers to approve a short-term loan that would help narrow a massive deficit. The district needs an additional $96 million to maintain the status quo for next year, or an extra $320 million to put schools in good working condition, officials said. Last week, City Council gave its preliminary OK to a $27 million loan, instead of $55 million the district requested.
June 19, 2014 |
Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke received campaign cash and encouragement to enter next year's race for mayor at an Old City fund-raiser Tuesday evening hosted by his ally John J. Dougherty, business manager of Local 98 of the Electricians union. "I'm a big fan of him running for mayor," Dougherty said. "He's such a steady, tenured leader with a lot of balance - and that's a word you don't hear much in politics. People respect him. " About 150 movers and shakers stopped by the reception at La Famiglia Ristorante, where they heard Dougherty express the hope that Clarke would be a "little bit selfish" when it comes to 2015.
June 17, 2014 |
Home equity is a decent option to help finance a college education. "Traditionally, you can tap equity in your home to fund college," said Karen Robbins, with UBS's Philadelphia complex of 90 financial advisers. She also has clients with $250,000 to $500,000 of investable assets using it as collateral for lines of credit. For the rest of us, home-equity loans offer a fixed interest rate, averaging 6.79 percent for a $30,000 loan. Home-equity lines of credit (HELOCs) have a variable interest rate averaging about 4.57 percent, according to Bankrate.com.
June 16, 2014 |
To pupils and parents, the story line is all too familiar: The School District of Philadelphia needs at least $216 million next year to maintain an educational environment few would claim to be adequate - and school leaders are hoping for much more money on top of that. City Council approved a bill last week that guarantees the schools $120 million next year from Philadelphia's extra 1 percent sales tax. But the civic purse now is likely to snap shut. "We've played our hand," Majority Leader Curtis Jones Jr. said.
June 13, 2014 |
ACCUSING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT of "foot dragging" when it comes to supporting itself financially, City Council members gave school officials a finger-wagging yesterday before voting to lend them a helping hand. City Council's Committee on Finance approved a Hail Mary $27 million in short-term borrowing for the school district to pay its bills by June 30 - the end of the fiscal year. But that number fell short of what district officials had hoped for, a loan of $55 million - the maximum amount allowed by the quasi-government Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.
June 13, 2014 |
With time ticking away to solve the School District of Philadelphia's latest budget crisis, district officials went to a skeptical City Council Wednesday with a new last-minute plea for funding. "We'll be straight about it," said Sophie Bryan, chief of staff for the School Reform Commission. "We are asking for every dollar we can possibly get. " The plea came on a day when about 100 high school students left classes and joined teachers, parents, and activists in a march down Broad Street chanting, "S.O.S.