One of the Phillies’ owners and his wife have made a four-year, $16.2 million donation to the struggling Philadelphia school system and other educational institutions in the region.
Mayor Michael Nutter announced the donation by John and Leigh Middleton on Tuesday. He says the money will go toward educational needs, workforce training and professional development programming.
"This donation will build the educational infrastructure and create learning and workforce opportunities," Nutter said. "Building a system of great schools and career-oriented programs, we ensure Philadelphia has a 21st-century workforce, ready to compete in the global economy."
The money will be distributed through the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey to the city's school district, Philadelphia Academies Inc., Philadelphia Youth Network and Drexel University.
John Middleton, president of Phillies limited ownership partner Double Play, Inc., says he believes the district is at a “tipping point” and needs an infusion of resources.
"I do not believe in band-aid solutions and short-term results," Middleton said at Tuesday's press conference. "Success in this effort requires that changes within the school district and the positive impact on the youth of Philadelphia are substantive, systemic and sustainable."
The mayor's wife, Lisa, is president of Philadelphia Academies, which does career-focused programming for young people.