Brickwork in Rittenhouse

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RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• Should schools cut staff because enrollment is down?

Philly’s Board of Education approved a preliminary budget for next year. It’s slightly higher overall, but assumes enrollment will be about 7,000 kids fewer and adjusts staff accordingly. Principals called the plan “a massacre,” saying more teachers are what’s needed, not fewer. (Students are dropping out at a higher rate — stay tuned for our story on this with the Hechinger Report.) Meanwhile, the district rolled out a plan to start overhauling its aging buildings, which average 70 years old.  [Chalkbeat/Inquirer$/Capital-Star]

• Troopers killed on highway in DUI tragedy

In a horrible twist, the two Pa. state troopers killed by a drunk driver on I-95 in South Philly last week had reportedly pulled her over a little earlier on suspicion of DUI. They then got a call to investigate a person walking on the highway, and had to leave — so the driver resumed what would become a deadly trip. Heads up if you get a call to donate to the troopers’ memory, there’s a scam going around. [Billy Penn/NBC10/PhillyVoice]

• Revitalizing 52nd Street

Positive movement for the West Philly commercial corridor once known as Philly’s “Black Broadway“: The Enterprise Center got $1 million in federal funding to help small businesses along 52nd Street, and chef Omar Tate is getting closer to opening the Honeysuckle grocery there. You can order Honeysuckle boxes now to make what might be Philly’s best new breakfast sandwich. [WHYY’s PlanPhilly/Billy Penn/Billy Penn]

• Boot & Saddle getting a revamp

The iconic sign will blaze again: Boot & Saddle is coming back under new ownership, a year and a half after it shut down. The new owners are Mark Christman of Ars Nova Workshop and Evan Clancy of Fountain Porter, who haven’t announced firm plans for the venue, other than keeping the name and neon sign. Seems like a perfect place to serve canned Fishtown Iced Teas. [Billy Penn/Inquirer$/Billy Penn]

Paine’s Park along the Schuylkill Banks Credit: Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Kenney’s budget address

Mayor Kenney is scheduled to present his budget proposal to City Council this week, kicking of several months of debate before the May 31 deadline. Expect councilmembers positioning for a mayoral run to use this as an opportunity to highlight their priorities, from violence prevention to schools to policing to libraries. [Citizen/Tribune]

• A wealth tax for Philadelphia

As President Biden proposes a federal tax on billionaires, Councilmember Brooks is planning to introduce a “Philly Wealth Tax,” aimed at gains from stock market holdings. Brooks, elected as part of the Working Families Party, will be joined by Sen. Warren and Councilmembers Gym and Gauthier.  [Bloomberg/@KendraPHL/Billy Penn]

• Meet Philly’s spelling bee winners

On Saturday, Billy Penn and WHYY hosted the regional contest that will send three elementary school students to Washington DC for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Stay tuned for mini profiles of the impressive young winners. Never know, they could end up Harvard librarians like Philly’s 1975 spelling champ. [Billy Penn]

• March Madness rolls through

Does Villanova count as a Philadelphia school? As the perennial debate resurfaces, Nova clinched a spot in the Final Four (and lost a key player to a bad leg injury.) Another NCAA team is making a case for local love: St. Peter’s is channeling the city’s underdog spirit as they make history at the Wells Fargo Center. Here’s a look back at top moments in Philly March Madness lore. [Crossing Broad/Yahoo/Billy Penn/Billy Penn]