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Funding

NEWS
June 20, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
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.
NEWS
June 19, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
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.
NEWS
June 19, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
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.
BUSINESS
June 17, 2014 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
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.
NEWS
June 16, 2014 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
June 13, 2014 | By Troy Graham and Lydia O'Neal, Inquirer Staff Writers
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.
NEWS
June 13, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
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.
NEWS
June 13, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
DOZENS of Philadelphia students walked out of class yesterday and marched through Center City to demand more funding for public schools from city and state elected officials. The demonstration began at the school district's headquarters at Broad and Spring Garden streets, with students from at least three schools joined by members of Action United, a statewide advocacy organization for the working class. The group of about 100 people marched to City Hall and ended the trek at Gov. Corbett's Philadelphia office at the Bellevue.
NEWS
June 13, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
DURING ASHNA Blackston's sophomore year at Martin Luther King High in East Germantown, she got out of school later than her peers at other schools. For many teenagers, it would've been a nuisance, but the extra time allowed Blackston to get tutoring, dig into her studies and develop a closer relationship with her teachers. "You could learn more in the classes. We had more time for the teachers to work with us one-on-one," recalled Blackston, now a senior. "It was helpful. " King was part of the second set of Promise Academies - the district's turnaround model ushered in under the late Arlene Ackerman's Renaissance Schools Initiative to turn around failing schools.
NEWS
June 11, 2014 | BY DYLAN SEGELBAUM, Daily News Staff Writer segelbd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5917
HOLDING SIGNS with slogans including "Don't Kill Our Futures" and breaking into chants like "SOS: Save Our Schools," about 600 activists marched to the Comcast Center yesterday to protest education cuts under Gov. Corbett and the fiscal condition of the School District of Philadelphia. "We're fired up and we're not going to take another year like this year," said Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 16,000 district employees.
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