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District battles bulging deficit

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

  • By current projections, the District will end the fiscal year on June 30 with a deficit of $37 million, despite layoffs and other cuts announced last fall. In addition, the District must figure out how to cover more than $150 million in increased costs in next year’s budget.
  • District officials hope a draft five-year fiscal plan, including proposed spending cuts, will help persuade the city and state to increase funding.
  • The School Reform Commission adopts a “lump sum” budget with total income and expenses on March 14, and the District takes it to City Council on April 30 and May 1. The SRC must approve the 2007-08 budget by May 31.
  • Schools get their budgets from the central office, including preliminary teacher allotments, in early March.
  • CEO Vallas has come under intense criticism for the District’s continued budget woes. SRC member James Gallagher called for Vallas’s ouster. City Controller Alan Butkovitz called for outside controls on District spending.
  • Governor Rendell affirmed his support for Vallas, as did mayoral candidates Dwight Evans and Chaka Fattah. But mayoral candidate Michael Nutter said the District was “spinning out of control.”

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