Philly district, unions discuss need to save $75M

July 1, 2011 2:03:13 PM PDT
The cash-strapped Philadelphia school district is talking about the possibility of reopening contracts with its unions in an effort to save $75 million.

School Reform Commission chairman Robert Archie Jr. said at a meeting Friday that negotiations are ongoing and the district is encouraged by the progress.

The commission that oversees the district had threatened to cancel its contracts with five bargaining units on Friday if the concessions weren't realized.

Officials are counting on the savings to help close a record $629 million budget gap.

However, the gap recently got bigger. The final state budget approved Thursday contained $35 million less in aid than the district anticipated.

District budget chief Michael Masch says officials will have to make some "difficult and painful decisions."