Mayor Nutter will occupy the ultimate public stage this week - a national television program - as he hunts for a way out of the Philadelphia School District's fiscal morass.

With the district in a $629 million hole, the mayor is scheduled to appear Wednesday on MSNBC's Hardball With Chris Matthews as part of the program's special focus on - what else? - "education challenges and solutions."

He won't be the only Nutter on the program. The mayor's wife, Lisa, who is president of an organization that creates job-readiness programs in city high schools, is expected to join him.

It's all a part of what NBC News has tagged the "Education Nation On-the-Road" show, with the limelight this week shining on Philadelphia on Today and the NBC Nightly News. Events include a teacher town hall Sunday at the National Constitution Center.

For Nutter, it may be an opportunity to make some headway in his battle to find tens of millions of new dollars to help plug the district's hole.

Of course, it's also yet another opportunity for the mayor to plug himself since he won't, of course, be mayor forever.

- Marcia Gelbart

City Council's cram sessions

Only two weeks are left until City Council is scheduled to let out for the summer.

Like students who partied and procrastinated all semester, the duly-elected members have saved all their work until the end.

They have to pass the city budget, reform or kill the Deferred Retirement Option Plan pension program, resolve controversial legislation on paid sick leave and panhandlers - oh, and they still may have to find more money for the schools.

But even if they manage to hand in all their work by the June 16 deadline, they face summer school, of sorts.

Council members, who have been derided over the years for taking such a long break, will have to spend the hot and humid months on one of the stickiest issues facing any legislative body - redistricting.

The last time they had to redraw the districts, the proceedings got so heated that then-Councilman Rick Mariano threatened to throw one of his colleagues out a window.

So much for that vacation.

- Troy Graham