PHILADELPHIA – The Mayor’s Office today issued the second in a series of progress reports focused on key City issues shaping Philadelphia’s future, highlighting the historic level of investment in public education over the last eight years. The report, available online, identifies key progress points as well as potential challenges and recommendations for the future.
“The objective of these reports is to identify the City’s strengths, measure its progress, and help plan for the challenges that await the next administration,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Education has been a top priority during my two terms as mayor, and while we all acknowledge that there’s more work ahead, I believe that the City’s educational investments, made in partnership with City Council, are game changers for our children if we maintain the same level of commitment going forward. In collaboration with the School District, we have made considerable strides and established a strong foundation for a lasting partnership that serves our students — and our city’s future is brighter for it.”
The report identifies the following major initiatives:
- In partnership with City Council, the Kenney Administration has invested a total of $1.5 billion in additional local funding for public education since Fiscal Year 2018, including a projected $282 million City contribution in FY2024 – which alone represents an increase of 171 percent over Mayor Kenney’s first year in office.
- The creation of PHLpreK, which this year will serve more than 5,000 pre-school children in Philadelphia. With funding from the $483 million in new revenues since the enactment of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax in 2016, PHLpreK will have provided a high-quality educational foundation for more than 17,000 children by the end of this year.
- The success of the Community Schools program, which has grown from nine schools at its inception in 2017 to 20 schools serving over 10,000 students citywide.
- Dramatically expanded funding for Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) to help young high school graduates and adults expand their career opportunities. Over the next five years, the City is projected to spend $270 million at CCP, including $11.6 million in FY2024 for the popular Octavius Catto Scholarship program, which provides free tuition and basic-needs assistance for more than 1,500 students.
- Unprecedented local coordination between the City and the School District to support students, schools, and families, including:
- Restoring the School District of Philadelphia to local governance after nearly two decades of state control.
- Establishing the Office of Families and Children to coordinate service delivery to children and families in need.
- Expanding City-supported out of school time opportunities and school-based behavioral health services.
The education progress report is available online.