City council, school district sign fiscal oversight board agreement

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City Council and the School District of Philadelphia came to a truce Wednesday in an effort to sign an agreement that will set up a fiscal oversight board. (WPVI)

City Council and the School District of Philadelphia came to a truce Wednesday in an effort to sign an agreement that will set up a fiscal oversight board.

While schools opened on time in September, money shortages are always present.

With the agreement, City Council will have more power to monitor and give input as to how the school board handles its limited resources.

Year after year, City Hall has been raising taxes to keep the schools afloat. They've demanded more access to the financial books and now they have it in exchange for the council forking over $25 million more - effective immediately.

"This lays out a format that will provide information, significant information, about the fiscal side of the operation," said City Council President Darryl Clarke. "We're about the money. I don't want to tell Dr. Hite how to run the schools."

"It provides the ability for council to have this information in order to make decisions about revenue, and I think that's really important," said School Superintendent Dr. William Hite.

Still, the school district and its students are in peril, caught up in the partisan politics of Harrisburg.

The budget impasse between Governor Wolf and the Republican-dominated General Assembly has $400 million in state funds still bottled up in the state capital, along with the governor's tax increase plan to provide more.

By the end of the month, the school district will be hurting and they are nervous.

"We are negotiating with vendors, we are talking with individuals that we have to pay and talking about how we can reduce those payments," said Hite. "All of those things allow us to go a little longer."

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politicsphiladelphia newsphiladelphia school districtphiladelphia city councilCenter City Philadelphia
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