April 20, 2015 |
They want to fund the city's schools, yet every mayoral candidate bashes Mayor Nutter's solution - a property-tax increase. Nutter, in turn, calls their ideas "bogus," from suing the state over school aid (Lynne Abraham), to asking private funders to chip in (Anthony Hardy Williams), to capitalizing on the liquor tax by keeping bars open later (Nelson Diaz, Doug Oliver). And he's cool to the City Council president's call for selling off commercial tax liens. Maybe they should keep brainstorming.
October 11, 2014 |
When he became principal of Lingelbach School this year, Marc Gosselin was stunned to learn that the 374-student school's budget for supplies this year was a meager $160. "As a new principal, I couldn't even send a letter to parents introducing myself," he said, "because I couldn't buy stamps. " On Tuesday, Gosselin and other principals around the district learned that his school was in line for a cash infusion - and right away - as a result of the district's decision Monday to cancel the teachers union contract and require teachers to pay more toward their health insurance.
March 3, 2014
It is tempting if one lives, plays, or works amid the skyscrapers, apartments, and buzzy restaurants of white-hot Center City, to think that all is gangbusters in the nation's fifth-largest city. Redevelopment has reignited downtown Philadelphia as a destination for the urbane and upwardly mobile. This energy has helped rejuvenate such once-fallow surrounding enclaves as Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Fairmount, Graduate, and others. Carving out more bike lanes and high-end retail are among the wish-list items discussed among the tens of thousands of old-timers and newcomers whose high incomes and lifestyle aspirations have drawn big investment to these pricey zip codes and helped reverse some of the city's decades-long population loss.
May 3, 2013
By Ryan Schumm The lead singer is new this year, but the back-up band is familiar. The stage is identical, and the songs are mostly covers. At the recent budget concert, Superintendent William Hite performed the greatest hits of Thomas Knudson, Arlene Ackerman, and countless other Philadelphia School District (PSD) headliners. The title track of the latest PSD album, "Catastrophic," borrows the tune of Knudson's classic 2012 hit, "Dire. " And no doubt fans immediately recognized the refrain from "Unprecedented," the 2011 ballad from budget guy Michael Masch.
April 3, 2013
GOTTA GIVE credit where credit is due. I attended my first AVI information meeting, which the city set up in my neighborhood of Packer Park, South Philly. I found the meeting to be more of an aid for filing protest forms against the tax hike, but what got my attention was the fact that Councilman Kenyatta Johnson was present and how he addressed those in attendence. Unlike other politicians, he didn't make any promises that he could not fulfill. He didn't try and make us believe that what's happening was a good thing (as a matter of fact, he is against the AVI)
January 16, 2013 |
MICHAEL MASCH, the former chief financial officer for the Philadelphia School District, was named Monday as vice president for finance and chief finanical officer at Manhattan College. His shaky four-year tenure with the district basically ended last January, when Masch was stripped of his CFO title by the School Reform Commission. The SRC put former PGW executive Thomas Knudsen in charge of district finances, naming him chief recovery officer. Masch left the district four months later.
June 1, 2012
I almost choked on my coffee while reading Councilman Dennis O'Brien's article ("Schools don't need a $capegoat") defending Michael Masch. How can he say that the district ended up with surplus money in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and just now in 2012 say that Mr. Masch predicted financial trouble? Wasn't he the chief financial officer when Dr. Ackerman used one-time stimulus money to fund her five-year 2014 initative? How can you say that we had a surplus when at my children's school (FitzPatrick Elementary)
May 31, 2012 |
WHY ARE Philadelphia's public schools in a financial crisis? With former superintendent Arlene Ackerman gone and the school district's budget problems worse than ever, some people appear to be looking for a new scapegoat and think they've found one in Michael Masch, former School District of Philadelphia chief financial officer. That certainly appears to be the view of city Controller Alan Butkovitz, who just last week told the Inquirer: ". . . Masch was put at the schools for the very purpose of providing independent financial control and to make sure the school district stayed within their spending limits.
May 13, 2012 |
Philadelphia's city controller offered a three-word sentiment on the impending departure of the School District's financial expert: It's about time. "Michael Masch was put at the schools for the very purpose of providing independent financial control and to make sure the School District stayed within their spending limits. He failed," Controller Alan Butkovitz said in an interview Friday. Masch, a former budget secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell, was on watch during the district's march to financial ruin, though his responsibility for its problems remains a subject of debate.
May 12, 2012 |
Michael Masch, the financial guru backed by ex-Gov. Rendell who was sidelined as chief financial officer of the beleaguered Philadelphia School District earlier this year when the School Reform Commission overhauled its leadership structure, will leave his job in three weeks, officials said Thursday night. News of Masch's imminent departure was made public at a school budget meeting between district officials and community members at West Philadelphia High School, during a question-and-answer volley between a parent and SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos.