The School District of Philadelphia
Office of Communications
440 N. Broad Street, Suite 301~Philadelphia, PA 19130-4015~(215)400-4040
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Fernando Gallard
SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA LUMP SUM STATEMENT OUTLINES NEED FOR SHARED SACRIFICE TO ADDRESS $304M SHORTFALL
PHILADELPHIA – During its public meeting today, the School
Reform Commission approved a resolution adopting the Lump Sum Statement for
Fiscal Year 2014, reflecting $2.35 billion in revenues and $2.66 billion
in obligations, leaving a shortfall of $304 million.
The Lump Sum Statement demonstrates the need for additional financial sacrifices in order to achieve the two main anchor goals as outlined in the School District’s Action Plan: 1) improve academic outcomes for students in all District and charter schools and 2) ensure the District’s financial stability and sustainability.
“I am deeply aware of the painful and real sacrifices that our students and parents have made in the last two years as we cut school budgets, reduced services and closed schools,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “That is why we must now ask others to step forward and join in shared sacrifice to improve academic outcomes and maintain a stable public school system over the long term.”
The Lump Sum Statement assumes shared sacrifices from three main sources to eliminate the impact of the projected financial shortfall on school budgets. The assumptions include $133 million in personnel savings, which may be achieved through labor negotiations and further reduction in non-representative positions, and $180 million from the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in new revenue requests.
The shared sacrifices that the new Fiscal Year 2014 statement calls for come at a time when school budgets already faced dramatic cuts, including reductions in nursing and counseling staff levels and athletics, music and arts programs, in addition to the 31 school closures approved over the last year.
Similarly, within the last two fiscal years, the District implemented deep reductions in the central office budget. Full-time positions were reduced from approximately 800 to 400. Non-represented employees received wage reductions up to 8 percent, plus furlough days, and are contributing to their health care costs. SEIU, Local 32BJ employees (custodians and bus attendants) reached an agreement with the District last summer to help address the financial situation.
The Lump Sum Statement is required by the City’s Home Rule Charter with the intention of communicating the School District’s revenue needs to the Mayor and City Council to help inform the City’s budget process.
The passage of the Lump Sum Statement marks the start of a multi-stage budget process. In late April, the District will publicly release a “budget in brief” – a more detailed document showing how expenses will be allocated within the District’s operations. SRC and District representatives will also testify on the budget before City Council. The SRC is scheduled to vote on a final budget on May 30.
All budget documents and information regarding upcoming budget hearings will be posted on the District’s website at www.philasd.org.