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School District Testifies on Budget in City Council, Seeks More Funding

City Council this morning kicked off budget hearings for the School District, which faces a massive $629 million budget gap in the coming fiscal year.

Council chambers are packed with schools advocates, waving signs that ask for more funds for schools. School Reform Commission Chairman Bob Archie was first to testify from the district.

Archie said the SRC "respectfully requests" increased funding for the schools from the city, but did not detail how much funding the schools want or what it would pay for. The district's current plan would slash full day kindergarten, cut funds for transportation and lay off teachers.

One option that district officials have floated with council members is increasing the amount of property tax revenue that goes to the district. Of course, any such shift would create a hole in the city's general fund budget, forcing cuts.