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Photo: Brianna Spause

Brianna Spause / The Notebook

Read the District-Council pact for new openness

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

Earlier this week, City Council and the School District signed a pact that ushers in a new period of openness between the two entities, whose relationship has strained in the recent era of financial austerity.

The "intergovernmental cooperation agreement," which lasts through June 30, 2017, establishes four terms for increased cooperation, information-sharing, and regular input from Council, which feels it has stepped up to make up for state funding shortfalls without getting enough respect or information from the District.

The terms are:

1.) Submission of quarterly school manager reports

2.) Inclusion of Council in the District’s annual, five-year financial planning process

3.) Cooperation of financial officers

4.) Briefings and support for council members, and the appointment of a liaison between District and Council.

The agreement can be read in full below. A Council hearing will be held next week to approve the release of $25 million in new tax-funded aid that the District has been counting on. School districts across the state have been dealing with cash-flow problems in the absence of a state budget.