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Ackerman talks budget at ‘chat and chew’

Photo: Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks

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

by Aaron Moselle

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s recent proposal to cut more than $1 billion in funding for public schools loomed over a Wednesday night community meeting in Germantown featuring Philadelphia School District Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

A number of the 60-plus residents that gathered for the District’s first Faith-Based Community Outreach “Chat and Chew” event expressed concerns on two fronts. The first focused on the district’s ability to deliver on its academic goals; the second, on the future of school-related programs and services.

In response, Ackerman painted an uncertain and fairly grim picture for the crowd assembled inside The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown and acknowledged the threat of teacher layoffs.

Ackerman said the District is facing an uphill budget battle in advance of the 2011-2012 school year. The district has said it’s expecting a $309 million loss in federal stimulus funds, which would anchor an overall budget shortfall that could easily eclipse $400 million. If Corbett’s education budget is approved, said Ackerman, the district would be left treading in even deeper water and visible cuts would be made across the district.

This story continues on the NewsWorks website; it is a product of a reporting collaboration between the Notebook and WHYY.

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