(Philadelphia Tribune photo)
By Brian Saunders
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Parking Authority walked back its request for $10.8 million repayments from the School District of Philadelphia this week.
The Parking Authority annually splits its on-street parking revenue between the city and the school district, according to NBC-10 in Philadelphia, In 2020, the parking authority paid $14.4 million to the school district, $10.8 million of which was an “overpayment,” authority officials claimed.
“From the beginning, I made it clear that the Parking Authority was never going to take a single dollar back from our schools, at-large City Council member Helen Gym said. “Today’s concession by the PPA, a $10.8 million reversal, proves they egregiously overstepped and, once again, underestimated the power of our school communities.”
Gym said the PPA has instances of financial mismanagement and forced leadership changes, and surprises in its budget.
“The need for independent oversight has never been more evident, and today’s announcement does not change that fact. I once again reiterate that the PPA cannot continue to be allowed to have final say over its own budget. The City of Philadelphia should sign off on the PPA’s budget.
“We must get to the bottom of how this request came to be and determine whether the School District is actually owed funds by the PPA.”
In February, Gym said she would be investigating PPA with an official hearing and will still be moving forward with that regardless of the backtrack from the parking authority.
City Council President Darrell Clarke said he was pleased that the parking authority and the city resolved their financial dispute.
“Every dollar or amount of revenue delivered to the School District should remain with the School District to deliver on its primary responsibility of educating every child in its schools. Whatever the nature of this dispute, the only thing that truly matters is educating our children and ensuring the District has the resources it needs to do so.”
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