This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
A post over on Young Philly Politics congratulates Notebook blogger and board member Helen Gym on the work she and Parents United for Public Education have done in pressing for the removal of the BRT patronage jobs from the School District payroll.
With SRC Chairman Archie’s May 13 statement about removing the BRT jobs from the District payroll, it seems likely that this will happen, and there is hope that at least some portion of the multi-million dollar item will finally disappear altogether from the District budget.
However, Archie’s statement does suggest that the District might continue to pay out some or all of the $4.56 million now budgeted – in the form of a "service fee" to the city. That is certain to be a matter of some discussion in the days ahead.
In another important development, in response to questions from Helen Gym at Wednesday’s SRC meeting, Superintendent Ackerman pledged not to increase class size next school year, even if there is a budget shortfall from the state. The exchange took place in response to a Parents United call for the District to put a moratorium on non-essential contracts until the budget situation in Harrisburg is resolved.
Read more about the doomsday scenario a pullback in state funding could create here (our post was just updated with the handout outlining the impact of PA Senate Bill 850).
In addition to next Wednesday’s SRC meeting, there are three more community meetings for public comment on the District budget:
- TONIGHT: May 14, 6-8pm – Stetson Middle School – 3200 “B” Street
- Monday: May 18, 6-8pm – South Philadelphia High School – 2101 South Broad Street
- Tuesday: May 26, 6-8pm – George Washington Carver Engineering and Science High School – 1600 West Norris Street