Commissioner Dr. Christopher McGinley Statement on Vote to Dissolve the School Reform Commission
Every District in Pennsylvania is facing a difficult financial outlook. Though the School District of Philadelphia faces deficits in the coming years through tough choices, increased funding from our stakeholders, establishment of a 5-year budget plan and smart fiscal management we are in a stronger position to face these deficits than ever before.
The district has fought and won hundreds of millions in new school funding from the city and the state, including: cigarette tax funding and permanently extending it with a floor of $58 million annually. The School District also worked with leaders across party lines in Harrisburg to develop an AVI Fix to lessen the potential loss of $285 million in state funding over 5 years.
In the last year alone the district has been able to refinance old debt to save taxpayers money, seen its first credit upgrade since 2010 and had the district’s credit rating outlook improve to “Positive”. This improvement is the second long-term credit outlook improvement in under one year for the School District.
Ensuring a smooth transition to a new board of education is now my top priority. I intend to devote the next seven months to this work in order to maintain the progress, momentum and hard fought stability the School District has achieved.