Philadelphia Budget

Philadelphia SkylineIssue Spotlight: Philadelphia School Funding Comes with Strings Attached

The Philadelphia School District will receive new state funding in 2013-14, but with strings attached that leave some key decisions in the hands of the state Secretary of Education.

Learn More: Read More About the Philly School Funding Plan

Philadelphia Symposium: A Call for an Education Funding Formula in PA

Browse Philadelphia Budget Publications Below

The tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) proposed by Mayor Kenney, also known as the “soda tax,” is controversial mainly because, like other sales taxes, it takes a greater share of the income of poor families than rich ones. However, while the costs of the soda tax fall more heavily on those with low incomes, more of the benefit of the tax will go to low-income Philadelphians as well, for two reasons:

The first benefit of the tax flows from how the new revenue will be spent — on pre-K education, community schools, and parks and community recreation centers. Pre-K education helps kids from low- and moderate-income families have a better start in life. Studies have shown that children who attend pre-K programs score higher on academic tests and that these benefits are greater for those whose families have lower incomes. And the effects of Pre-K education are long lasting: long-term studies have shown that those who receive Pre-K education have higher IQs at age 5, have higher high school graduation rates, are more likely to own a home and have higher incomes at age 40.

 

On Thursday afternoon the official Twitter feed for the Pennsylvania House Republicans began circulating an infographic noting that Philadelphia would get 32 percent of the increase in school funding proposed by Gov. Wolf and asked the question “Do you want to pay a huge tax hike to support that plan?”

August 15, 2014

Several American cities have raised cigarette taxes as a public health measure and to generate local revenue for cash-strapped programs. These taxes are not as regressive as once assumed and can be an important part of a local funding package. Philadelphia has requested authorization from the General Assembly to add a $2 per pack tax on cigarettes sold in the city to raise an estimated $70-$90 million  for its public schools.

Here is how the Senate budget proposal works out on paper - including program funding levels.  We will have commentary and analysis of this later today.

March 17, 2014

A coalition of education advocates joined forces recently to call on Philadelphia City Council to provide $195 million in sustainable local funding to the city's school district next year.

February 26, 2014

A study identifying marriage as a factor in growing income inequality — specifically, the marriage of highly educated people to other highly educated people (resulting in higher incomes) — is a great example of "misdirection," Mark Price writes.

December 20, 2013

A group of Philadelphia education advocates issued a year-end report card to Philadelphia City Council and the Pennsylvania General Assembly on their work to fully fund the Philadelphia public schools.

December 11, 2013

"Pennsylvania’s experience with business tax reduction is instructive," PBPC Director Sharon Ward testified. "Since 1998, the Commonwealth has reduced taxes to the tune of $3 billion annually. These large tax reductions have not had the desired impact. When business tax reductions were first enacted Pennsylvania ranked 27th in job creation. By 2010 we had fallen to 34th."

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