Mayor Nutter strongly believes that for a sustainable revenue future, Philadelphia’s School District-managed and charter schools, as well as districts across the state, need a new statewide education funding formula based on the number of students and their characteristics, including students who speak English as a second language and students growing up in poverty (“Not the best deal for city schools,” Nov. 3).

This is the challenge for the next state budget.

The mayor also continues to push for City Council passage of the sales tax extension, which will provide a dependable, recurring source of revenue for the city's public schools. Enabling legislation passed in Harrisburg last spring would provide $120 million annually from the sales tax for schools.

The mayor agrees with Council President Darrell Clarke that it would be preferable if those revenues were, instead, split half-and-half between the schools and the city pension fund. But the mayor only supports that split if the General Assembly adopts this new split and also approves a local, $2-a-pack cigarette tax, which Council has already approved.

Without that combination of state actions, Philadelphia schools would receive far less than they under the sales tax legislation already enacted in Harrisburg.

Lori Shorr, chief education officer, City of Philadelphia

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