GOODE introduces Public Education Reinvestment Bill

New legislation will shift School District-City Share of Real Estate Taxes to 60-40 Split

City Councilman At-Large W. Wilson Goode, Jr. wants to shift more real estate tax revenue to bolster public education in Philadelphia by introducing the Public Education Reinvestment Bill at City Council’s first session after winter recess.

Goode’s Public Education Reinvestment Bill addresses real estate taxes imposed by the City and the School District of Philadelphia by shifting an additional portion of the real estate tax from the City to the School District of Philadelphia, without changing the overall combined rate of the City and School District real estate tax.

Councilman Goode said, “I am particularly concerned with the school district’s 56 percent graduation rate, at a time when class size must be reduced and new educational approaches must be considered – or certain segments of our population will experience an even lower graduation rate. I believe that this bill reinvests in public safety, education, and new economic opportunities – all at the same time. “


Sounds great - but I'm corious how this wouldn't be robbing Peter to pay Paul. Where will the shift take money from?

It will shift dollars to schools - sharing priorities!

It will shift $18M to $20M annually over the next 5 years from a roughly $4 billion City budget to a roughly $2 billion Schools budget - and I look forward to the debate on this bill.

It's time to now set spending priorities for the future - and to bring balance to the public policy debate about this city's future - so while potential mayors talk about investing our tax dollars in more police without regard to costs - let's call for new investment in smaller class size in public schools and more educational alternatives leading to success to balance our spending priorities.

Peter and Paul - we are all in this!


Peter and Paul are both nice guys

but still, I'm curious if you can be more specific about what will be de-funded as a result of this shift. I guess that will be determined in the future as budgets will be balanced? But will there be some sort of recommendation as to where the money should come from?

As an educator, you don't have to convince me that better funded schools are a very high priority. As far as I'm concerned, any "tough on crime" or "economic development" plan, without an accompanying focus on increasing funding for Philly's schools, is incredibly short-sighted. And I commend you for an initiative for making schools a higher budget priority. The discrepency between how much is currently being spent on Philly's students in comparison to how much is being spent on suburban kids is an absolute crime.

Still, I'd like to know where the money would be coming from.

I'm all for increasing school funding... but

I'm actually surprised that Stan et al are not all over this proposal. Seems to me their anti-BPT arguments apply just the same to Councilman Good's proposal.

Why is D.E. II the only person to pick up the standard on this one?


I can agree with the

I can agree with the reasoning you are using and the purpose is noble.

But, without control of the school district, how will Council ensure the money is not spent inefficiently, erroneously, etc. While the power of the purse is strong, once the money is gone the only thing that can seemingly be done if it is not spent wisely is to not give the money a second time. Unless the giving is conditioned on some performance or act.

Is this what you are planning? What do you think about local control?

Regarding balance in the policy debate, I agree it is needed on all levels here. Certainly, as much as I love reading crime plans, an open debate on all of the issues is what is needed to set this city on the right path. Perhaps the candiates will some day agree to talk about these things with voters together, in one forum.

Supporting Michael Nutter in 2007!

We have to begin the conversation about local control ...

We have to begin the conversation about local control ... but local control won't happen for years to come and it will be a tricky transition.

This new local reinvestment would be ideally linked to more state money as well (that's the plan)- so the state appointees to the School Reform Commission would be charged with protecting the new state investment.

As for "paying" for the "cost" to the operating budget:

1)The current mayor - and presumably each of the potential future mayors - acknowledges the need for more local investment in public education. Many candidates have already stated it as a priority without a specific dollar commitment.

2) This is a shift from a 58-42 to 60-40 split - it is conceivably manageable based upon even modest real estate market growth.

3) The Full Valuation Project by the BRT will eventually bring more fairness and transparency to real estate tax assessments and City Council will adjust the tax rate.

4) And last, but not least - I'm for smaller government if it's necessary to produce smaller class size - but the current cost estimate is only about 1/2 of 1 percent of the annual operating budget.


Maybe if I ask a third time

Ok, it sounds like a great idea. You deserve credit for initiating it. Certainly linking it to more local control is good.

But I still don't get where you've answered my question: can you speak to what might be de-funded as a result? I can't think of anything more important than more funds for our schools. But despite that, and despite the relatively small percentage of the overall budget represented by this policy, the money has to come from somewhere. Are you saying that it's too difficult to determine what will be de-funded from shifting an amount as small as 1 percent or less of the operating budget?

The Mayor presents the budget...

The Mayor presents the budget... we negotiate internally and with the Mayor... and if we don't agree with the Mayor on the budget, we can amend the budget.

But the Mayor is still NOT obligated to spend the money as we budgeted it!

That's why I could say an "across the board" minimal cut but the Mayor still doesn't have to spend that way.

I hope that answers your question.



If the Mayor isn't obligated to anything, what's the point of even having a City Council?


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