PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Kenney released the following statement on the passage of the FY19 budget and five-year plan:
“I’d like to thank Council President Darrell Clarke and all my colleagues on Council for their diligence and dedication during the budget process. All of those involved, including staff, have had a single focus: doing what is best for taxpayers, and what is best for the school children of Philadelphia.
“We are grateful that City Council has seen fit to approve the great majority of my Administration’s proposed funding package for the School District, which will bring an additional $547 million to the schools over the next five years.
“However, we should be clear that this amount does not provide the long term financial stability to the District that would ensure the preservation of its important academic gains of the past few years. It also means that the District won’t be able to follow through with its additional $150 million capital borrowing, which would have allowed it to address some of its pressing building issues. And it means that we will still need to find a solution to address the District’s projected deficit and long-term stability.
“Effective July 1st, local control finally returns to the School District of Philadelphia as the new Board of Education begins its work. With some of the District’s needs still unmet by this budget, I am hopeful that all of us will continue to focus on the funding challenge with urgency. As I said in my budget address last March, a generation of students and families have suffered because no one was fully accountable for the outcome of our public school system. Now we are accountable. We need to provide the level of support that our new Board members, the Superintendent and his staff, teachers, parents and most of all, that our students need and deserve.”