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Senator Vincent Hughes Press Conference on
Philadelphia Schools Crisis :: January 29, 2016.

Senator Vincent Hughes Press Conference on Philadelphia Schools Crisis

Audit Finds Charter School Law is Strangling Philly Schools


Yesterday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released an audit of the Philadelphia School District. His report confirmed what I’ve been saying for years—the current district funding model is completely unsustainable. The district has a structural deficit of more than $500 million. The biggest reason is the state’s broken funding law for charter schools, which sucks dollars away from traditional public schools without any way to replace the lost revenue. Last month, the Auditor General, in his report on charter school accountability in Philadelphia, called the state's charter law "the worst charter school law in the United States."

In addition to that report, which highlighted the lack of charter oversight and accountability permitted under law, previous reports have called out the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars lost due to the broken charter funding system, including:

  • The overpayment to cyber charters costing school districts an unnecessary $100 million each year.

  • The overcharging for charter school special education students costing school districts nearly $200 million each year.

  • The lack of detailed and regular financial reporting and oversite.

The Auditor General’s latest report makes clear that Philly’s public schools need additional funding, and a coordinated effort from local, state and federal lawmakers to provide resources and fix the broken charter funding system.

DePasqualeThis is the third time in recent months that the Auditor General has commented on the state of Philly schools. Back in February, heparticipated in a hearing that I organized about the crumbling infrastructure that exists in far too many of our school buildings.

This latest report is just more confirmation that Philadelphia’s public schools are in crisis. We need additional state funding from Harrisburg and we need it now! Please share this e-mail with your friends, family, and co-workers. Together, we must advocate for more funding for PA's cash starved public schools, and we must close the gaping holes in the Charter School Finance Law that are leaking massive amounts of money and are not providing any academic support to our children.


State Senator Hughes
Senate Appropriations Committee Democratic Chairman

Senator Hughes Responds to the Auditor General's Audit of the Philadelphia School System

By Vincent Hughes | May 11, 2016

Senator HughesHARRISBURG, May 11, 2016 − Senator Vincent Hughes released the following statement on the Auditor General’s audit of the School District of Philadelphia:

“I commend the auditor general and his team for their thorough review of the School District of Philadelphia’s finances. With the auditor general reporting that the Philadelphia school district has a structural deficit of $500 million, it’s clear the state’s broken charter school funding law is causing major damage to the Philadelphia School District and most likely to any public school districts across Pennsylvania which have a significant number of charter schools. The real question is how many more reports do we need to make the obvious conclusion?

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Auditor Calls the District's Funding Model Unsustainable

By Dale Mezzacappa | May 11, 2016

The Pennsylvania auditor general says the model for funding the Philadelphia School District is fundamentally flawed and could ultimately endanger its purpose and mission – adequately educating students – if it isn’t doing so already.  

In an 86-page report, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says the District’s total reliance on outside funding sources – from the federal government, the state, and the city – and its lack of control over escalating fixed costs have resulted in a “persistent structural deficit” and a “deteriorating financial position.”

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Auditor General Faults Philly School, SRC for Lax Management

By Martha Woodall | May 11, 2016

The Philadelphia School District has failed to conduct background checks of all of its police officers and bus drivers, uses unreliable student-data technology, and is the victim of a "broken" state funding system, according to a performance audit released Wednesday by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

In addition to those key findings, DePasquale pointed out two other faults: He called the district's accounting system for unused textbooks after dozens of school closings in 2013 "inexcusable," and pointed out that the School Reform Commission had not conducted timely performance evaluations of Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.

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Sens. Hughes, Haywood Hear School Officials Confirm: Infrastructure is Crumbling, Need Better Help from Harrisburg

By Vincent Hughes | February 11, 2016

PHILADELPHIA – In the auditorium of a Philadelphia elementary school that was forced to send students home because of a boiler explosion that critically injured an employee, Democratic Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Vince Hughes and Sen. Art Haywood today heard school officials confirm that disappearing state investments are causing school infrastructures to crumble across Pennsylvania.

“This crisis is denying 21st century classrooms for our children,” said Sen. Hughes. “Continuing to deny that these crushing problems exist and failing to adequately deliver the investments to fix the problems will hurt generations of Pennsylvanians and the commonwealth itself.”

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Learn more about the issues and provide your feedback on my website at as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@SenatorHughes).

Offices of State Senator Vincent Hughes

4950 Parkside Avenue | Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Phone: 215.879.7777
Fax: 215.879.7778
Senate Box 203007
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3007
Phone: 717.787.7112
Fax: 717.772.0579