Penn’s $100 million pledge has a backstory | 11/24/2020

Penn’s $100 million pledge has a backstory | WHYY

Christmas came early this year for the Philadelphia School District. The University of Pennsylvania pledged $100 million to go toward fixing unsafe school buildings. Activist leaders on campus and across the city have called for a donation like this for a long time. They want Penn to pay payments in lieu of taxes, known as PILOTs, calling foul on the regulations that allow a nonprofit that owns $3.2 billion in city real estate to skip property taxes.

Editorial | The $100 million donation doesn’t excuse Penn from paying PILOTs | 11/22/2020

The $100 million donation doesn’t excuse Penn from paying PILOTs | The Daily Pennsylvanian

$100 million is nothing to sniff at. By 2022, the School District of Philadelphia will be $700 million in debt. The COVID-19 crisis has not made these numbers any prettier. Penn’s donation will do a world of good in making sure that West Philly kids have access to safe and healthy learning environments and will help the school district to not go into further debt. Undoubtedly, Penn’s donation is a step in the right direction. But it is just that: a step. In light of this donation, we renew our call for the University to pay Payments In Lieu Of Taxes, or PILOTS.

Students, experts greet Penn’s $100 million donation, but renew push for U. to pay PILOTs | 11/19/2020

Students, experts greet Penn’s $100 million donation, but renew push for U. to pay PILOTs | The Daily Pennsylvanian

Following years of backlash for its refusal to make Payment in Lieu of Taxes, Penn has decided to contribute $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia. Yet, students and professors say the contribution is not a PILOT, criticizing its short-term commitment as well as Penn’s framing of it as a gift rather than a debt owed to the city.

Penn’s pittance is useful, overdue, and vastly insufficient | 11/18/2020

Penn’s pittance is useful, overdue, and vastly insufficient | Nonprofit Quarterly

Penn is heralding the $100 million gift, which is targeted for facility improvements, as the largest it has ever made to the schools. Looking at the payment as charity, that might be seen as sufficient. But advocates have been pushing for 40 percent of what the university would pay in property taxes each year were it to pay taxes, and that would currently amount to $40 million a year.

Penn pledges $100M to Philadelphia amid local tax debate | 11/18/2020

Penn pledges $100M to Philadelphia amid local tax debate | Inside Higher Ed

In a press release, Philadelphia Jobs With Justice — an advocacy group made up of labor unions and student, community and faith groups — commended Penn for the contribution but said that chronic underfunding of Philadelphia’s public schools can’t be solved with one-time gifts. It also specifically called upon other private nonprofit universities in the city to do more.

University of Penn pledges $100 million to School District of Philadelphia | 11/17/2020

University of Penn pledges $100 million to School District of Philadelphia | Philadelphia Tribune

The University of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday that it will pledge $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia, making the private contribution the largest in the School District’s history. Penn’s $100 million contribution to the District will be $10 million annually for 10 years. The money will be used to remediate environmental hazards, including asbestos and lead in the public school buildings.