Education

Mayor Offers Plan for Philadelphia's 31 Shuttered Schools

The Nutter administration on Wednesday announced a detailed, multifaceted plan to sell or find new uses for 31 of the School District of Philadelphia's closed school buildings.
August 29, 2013

The Nutter administration on Wednesday announced a detailed, multifaceted plan to sell or find new uses for 31 of the School District of Philadelphia's closed school buildings.

The mayor promised a "more streamlined, flexible, and predictable" process that includes a comprehensive assessment of each site. The city and the district also said they would create a website and host public meetings on the overall plan and the fate of specific locations.

But the announcement, in the form of a news release, neglected to mention one thing: that Nutter and City Council remain locked in an epic face-off over how to handle the mothballed schools.

Council President Darrell L. Clarke wants the city to pay $50 million for the district's empty buildings, then turn them over to the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development to market and sell.

The district needs the money in the coming months to help solve a $304 million budget shortfall.

Nutter has proposed Council follow the outlines of a state bailout package, which calls for the city to borrow the $50 million against future collections of the city's extra 1 percent sales tax.

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